ATF Arrests Man Charged With Arson That Killed Philadelphia Fire Fighter


Federal Agents with Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) announced the arrest of Al-Ashraf Basem Khalil who is charged with the arson that killed Philadelphia Fire Fighter Lt. Williamson. U.S Attorney Jacqueline Romero says that Khalil set a fire on June 18th, 2022 at a pizza shop on 300 W Indiana Ave. The fire was extinguished by the Philadelphia Fire Dept but fire investigators were still in the building when it collapsed on top of them from fire damage. The collapse injured multiple fire fighters and killed Lt. Williamson. Lt. Williamson was a 27-year veteran of the fire department and is survived by his son. The city of Philadelphia laid him to rest following full honors on Monday June 27th.

Authorities say that they interviewed Al-Ashraf Basem Khalil on two separate occasions following the fire. Investigators say Khalil was seen on video entering the pizza shop, and then exiting the pizza shop as the fire started. Investigators say that Khalil lied to them about his whereabouts before the fire. After two interviews with the ATF, Khalil tried to escape the country when he booked a flight from JFK International Airport to Dubai. ATF and US Marshals arrested him before he could leave the country. Agents placed handcuffs on the offender with Lt Williamson’s initials and badge number.

Al-Ashraf Basem Khalil ,the defendant, has been charged with one count of malicious damage by means of fire of a building used in interstate commerce resulting in death, one count of aiding and abetting and willfully causing the same, and one count of making materially false or fraudulent statements. If convicted, the defendant faces a mandatory minimum term of seven years in prison if, as here, personal injury results to any person. If death results to any person, including a public safety officer performing duties, the statute carries a maximum penalty of life in prison or the death penalty.


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