The fire happened around 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday on 86th Street in Ozone Park and spread next door.
Witness told firefighters that they saw an 11-year-old boy playing with fire behind the houses.
It's not yet clear if he lived in one of the homes.
No word on whether he'll face charges.
A firefighter and one other person suffered minor injuries.
More than a dozen people were left homeless.