NY Post - March 06, 2018by NY Post
Two dead, several injured in apartment building blaze New York Post Tina Moore, Yaron Steinbuch and Stephanie Pagones
Two people were killed and 13 others injured early Monday when a fire in a Bronx apartment building spread rapidly because the first-floor residents left a door open, officials said.
Police were alerted about 1:30 a.m. to the fire at the five-story building at 2381 Hoffman St., where firefighters removed 10 people, including two men who were rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.
“The apartment door was open, fire got out into the hallway and met our members right at the front door,” FDNY Assistant Chief Roger Sakowich said on Twitter.
“The stairway was involved in the fire. We had several people trapped on the second floor that were removed by our members,” he added.
Paul Montgomery, 37, told The Post he was smoking marijuana inside his first-floor apartment when the blaze started ripping through the five-story building at 2381 Hoffman St.
“I was worried about clothes and stuff — and my Rolex, and the title to the new Benz that I bought, I’m worried about that,” he said. “And then I found out people died and I felt bad.”
Firefighters plucked 10 people from the flames — including two second-floor residents who were pronounced dead at St. Barnabas Hospital, officials said. One was a teen found in the bathtub.
Eight others were taken to Jacobi Medical Center, where three people were listed in serious condition. Five firefighters suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The identities of the victims were not immediately available and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
The blaze started in the kitchen of a first-floor apartment and spread to a second-floor unit, where rescuers discovered the victims, the sources added.
Several residents became trapped and had to be rescued after the flames flared up and swept through the building, according to reports.
“The stairway was involved in the fire, so the members had to push the fire back so they could get to the stairs,” FDNY Assistant Chief Roger Sakowich said, WABC reported.
“Also we had members coming off the rear, off the fire escape. They actually got to the civilians that were trapped up their first, so it was difficult.”
The Red Cross is assisting 15 residents — 12 adults and three children, a spokesman said.
The tragedy bore similarities to another deadly blaze in the same neighborhood near East 187th Street about two months ago.
Twelve people were killed Dec. 28 on Prospect Avenue after officials said a 3-year-old boy playing with the kitchen stove sparked the fire and his mother left the apartment door open in her rush to flee.