Bronx Apartment Building Fire Kills 2, Leaves 5 Injured after Ripping Through Hoarder's Home

NY Daily News - September 30, 2017

by YESHA RAY, ADAM SHRIER, THOMAS TRACY

Two men were killed and five others hospitalized after a fast-moving fire tore through a Bronx hoarder’s condo early Saturday, officials said.

The blaze erupted in a tenth-floor apartment at Parkchester North Condominiums on E. Tremont Ave. near Dogwood Drive around 1:10 a.m., officials said.

"It sounded like a pipe exploded," said Victor Ocasio, 24, who lives next door to the apartment. "I smelled smoke so I was looking around my house because I thought my house was on fire."

“I could hear screams through the bathroom (wall),” he said. “I started panicking.”

Responding firefighters told Ocasio to stay inside his home and to keep his door shut and windows open as they battled the blaze.

After a few moments, Ocasio saw firefighters rush 75-year-old John Quinones from the burning apartment on a stretcher.

"He was screaming in pain as he was being carried out,” Ocasio. “I saw some legs and his pants down."

Medics rushed Quinones to Jacobi Medical Center, where he died.

Hours after the fire, a man identifying himself as Quinones’ son, went into the burnt and pitted apartment to collect some belongings. He left with a small drawstring bag.

“He was a very humble guy,” the man said of his father. “I don't know how the fire got started.”

Firefighters found a second victim dead in a building hallway, police said. His name was not immediately released.

An autopsy has been scheduled to determine how the second man died.