According to New York City officials, on Sunday, a housefire in Queens killed five people, three of them children.
A tragic loss:
Officials stated that the burned house was the victims’ home who were a 45 year old man, a 20 year old woman, a 14 year old girl, and two boys aged 2 and 9.
Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro and Mayor Bill de Blasio held a news conference close to the house. Nigro said: “It’s a terrible, tragic loss.”
According to Nigro, a person who was driving by the house called 911 after he saw the fire traveling from the first to the second floor. Firefighters arrived 4 minutes later but found the house engulfed by fire.
He said: “These homes were built 97 years ago. They’re wood-frame homes, and they burn rapidly.”
Earlier in the day, de Blasio spoke at a church in nearby Jamaica, Queens, saying: “What we do know is five lives are lost, three of them children, an extraordinarily large toll for any fire.”
According to a Fire Department official, it’s uncommon for this number of people to die in a fire in the middle of the day, as they would have been awake and capable of escaping.
Firefighters found the 2-year-old boy in the attic, he was trapped there, maybe with another person. In total firefighters found 5 people in the house, all dead.
According to Nigro a middle-aged man jumped or fallen from a window located on the second floor, the man survived the jump and has been transported to a hospital.
The victims’ relations to one another isn’t clear yet.
67-year-old Foster McPhee, stated that he was driving by the house when he smoke and flames coming from it. He stopped at once.
Nigro stated that the fire damaged on of the next door houses.
A grieving neighborhood:
The neighborhood gathered and grieved for the deceased. Women cried and embraced in a yard across the street while a man cried privately on the sidewalk.
Some of the neighbors knew the family. Gary Rhodes, who lives around a block away said: “They’re very nice people. It hurts. It’s sad, man.”
According to the neighbors, the man who jumped to escape the fire was a mechanic who would help them with their cars.
Emma Garlington, who lived in her home across the street from the fire for 40 years said: “It’s devastating. We’ve never had anything this bad happen before.” She added that earlier that day, she had seen children playing in front of the house.