Fires in Brooklyn and Manhattan Buildings Leave 2 Dead, 9 Injured

NY Daily News - December 04, 2017

by ADAM SHRIER ROCCO PARASCANDOLA THOMAS TRACY

A roaring fire in a Queens apartment building killed a 12-year-old boy and injured eight others — one of two fatal fires in the city early Sunday, officials said.

The Queens blaze erupted on the fifth floor of a six-story oceanfront apartment on Ocean Promenade near Beach 123rd St. in Rockaway Park around 3:05 a.m., according to authorities.

Justin Martin, 33, who lives in the unit above where the fire began, awoke in a panic.

"There was smoke coming out of the radiator," he said. "I was like, 'What the f--k is that? I grabbed my mom and told her 'Get up! There's a f---ing fire! '"

Martin ran to the window to find the suspected origin of the inferno just beneath his apartment.

"When I opened the window to look, the flames were so hot it almost seared my eyebrows off," he said.

Met with an impenetrable wall of smoke at his front door, Martin and his mother climbed down the fire escape, carrying little else but their dog Mylo.

"You couldn't breathe on the fire escape," he said. "It was scary."

As many as 60 firefighters responded to the blaze, which was not deemed under control until an hour later.

Despite Martin's harrowing escape and the potential damage to his home, his thoughts remained fixed on the 12-year-old who officials later said lost his life in the blaze.

"I hope to God (he's) OK," said Martin, before hearing the sad news. "He's a well-mannered, good kid from a good family. If I ever had a son, I'd want him to be just like that."

Medics rushed four residents in serious condition and four residents and a firefighter with minor injuries to Nassau Community Medical Center.

The pre-teen suffered severe smoke inhalation, sources said. First responders performed CPR but could not save the boy, who died at Nassau Community Medical Center around 6 a.m.

Later Sunday morning, a second deadly blaze broke out in a large apartment building in East Harlem.

The fire flared up on the seventh floor of a 32-story building on First Ave. near Tito Puente Way around 5:50 a.m.

Firefighters responding to the blaze found a woman, who has not yet been identified, dead on the scene.

A second victim was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital with minor injuries.

The Fire Marshall confirmed that the fire was contained to one apartment - easily identified from the outside by the badly-charred fire escape and bricks near the window.

Mohammad Rahman, 31, and his wife Taslima Akther, 28, said the dead woman was elderly and lived with three family members.

Akther recalled being awoken in a panic by the strong smell of thick smoke. "It smelled like fire, I got very scared," said Akther, who fled to safety with her 7-month-old baby. "I had to knock on neighbors' doors to wake them up. There was a lot of smoke."

WITH LAURA DIMON