Fire Breaks Out at Dyker Heights Apartment Building, FDNY Says

AMNY - November 09, 2017

by Meghan Giannotta

Smoke detectors in the three-story Brooklyn building where a fatal fire broke out Thursday morning failed to alert residents of the blaze, the FDNY said.

A 58-year-old man and a 56-year-old woman died in the fire that began around 7 a.m. on the second floor of the building on 11th Avenue in Dyker Heights, the NYPD said. They were found unconscious and unresponsive in a third-floor apartment, they added.

The two-alarm blaze resulted in a “heavy fire condition” throughout the building, and there was “no evidence of any working smoke detectors” at the scene, according to the FDNY.

Five people, including a 4-year-old girl and 3-month-old boy, were taken to Maimonides Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, police said. The identities of the victims have not yet been released.

Heidi Pugni, 54, said the victims who survived the fire were standing on the street barefoot in their pajamas so a neighbor brought them blankets, shoes and slippers.

“I brought socks down. I gave them some water,” she said, adding that the family was scared. “It was evident that they were worried about someone. They were very distressed about it.”

Three firefighters were also injured while battling the blaze, the FDNY said. Photo and video footage from the scene posted to social media showed ladders extended to the second and third levels of the three-story apartment building. Carnation Nails and Spa occupies the ground level of the building.

Lia Mancuso, 41, said she was sleeping when her son ran into her room and told her there was a fire at a nearby building.

"I saw the flames from my backyard. I got scared, I was like, 'Oh my gosh,' " she said. "I felt so bad for the firefighters. They were so courageous. The flames were enormous." Nearby shop owners saw smoke coming from the apartment building when they arrived to open up their businesses.

“I saw in the morning ... I didn’t see much, just black smoke on the building and then I took some photos and videos,” said Wilson Lliguischush, the owner of Intrepid Dry Cleaners. He said he was not asked to evacuate his property while firefighters battled the blaze.

The owner of Young’s Deli and Grocery on the corner of 68th Street and 11th Avenue said he too was opening his business when he saw “lots of smoke” and fire trucks arrive at the scene shortly after.

George Rezk, 60, has been living on the corner of 67th Street and 11th Avenue for nine years and said he was about to call 911 when the FDNY started to show up.

“We heard screaming and yelling from people in the street first and then I came down and I saw the fire department get the people from the building out,” he said. “I went to the back. I saw nothing but flames rising.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. With Rajvi Desai