PATERSON — A lit roll of paper towels is being blamed for starting a fire that spread to several apartments in August, displacing 60 people.

Yanit Valdez, 38, of Manhattan, lit the roll on fire during an argument with a resident of 40 Cianci St., which caused a couch to ignite, according to Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes.

All the residents of the apartments escaped but four city firefighters were treated for minor injuries.

The fire burned for hours and also destroyed several businesses on the lower level of the building, according to's coverage of the fire.

A Passaic County grand jury handed up an indictment charging Valdez with with two counts of second-degree aggravated arson, four counts of third-degree aggravated assault and one count of fourth-degree creating a risk of widespread injury. She is currently being held at the Passaic County Jail.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

COVID vaccines: 17 myths, misconceptions and scientific facts

Do any of the vaccines impact fertility? Do they contain a live virus, or change a person's DNA? Here are some of the most rampant social media rumors and the real, verified answers on COVID-19 vaccines currently being distributed in the U.S.

Remembering Prince Philip, 1921-2021

His life spanned nearly a century of European history, starting with his birth as a member of the Greek royal family and ending as Britain’s longest serving consort during a turbulent reign in which the thousand-year-old monarchy was forced to reinvent itself for the 21st century.

Philip spent a month in hospital earlier this year before being released on March 16 to return to Windsor Castle.

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM