A New Bedford man has been charged with setting a fire Wednesday at 330 North Front Street in the North End.

Firefighters quickly doused the smoky fire, but smoke and water damage forced the13 occupants to seek shelter through the Red Cross.

Fire officials say the blaze apparently started in a rear stairway on the second floor.

Hours later, Police arrested 25 year old Xavier Betancourt-Echev, one of the occupants of the tenament.

Investigators from the Fire Department, New Bedford Police and State Fire Marshall determined the fire was intentionally set.