Brighton man arraigned in fire that led to discovery of body

A Brighton man was arraigned today and held on $100,000 cash bail after allegedly setting a fire that led police and firefighters to find a dead body Wednesday.

Huan Yuan Li, 55, was charged with arson, assault with a dangerous weapon, and hindering a firefighter, Suffolk district attorney’s spokesman Jake Wark said in a statement. He said Li was also forced to surrender his passport.

Li was armed with scissors and combative when firefighters responded to the kitchen fire in a Fidelis Way apartment, and tried to jump from a fourth-floor window, Wark said.

Firefighters removed Li from the scene and concentrated on what they thought was a pile of burning debris – only to discover it was the body of an older female, he said.


Authorities are witholding the woman’s name pending notification of her next of kin.

Neighbors told the Globe last week that the victim was Li’s mother, a familiar face at the Commonwealth Development. She had lived there for seven years. The residents said Li showed up at the development about two weeks ago, and that after he arrived, the woman was rarely seen outside. One neighbor said she had heard a loud argument in the apartment Monday night.

The medical examiner has not yet determined the cause of the woman’s death. No homicide charges have been brought at this time, Wark said.

Li was transported to Brigham and Women’s Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation, where he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. He was cleared for release Monday and will return to court on Aug. 30, Wark said.

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