FDNY: 'Children Playing with Fire' Started Blaze at Home

SILive - August 10, 2018

by Maura Grunlund

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Children started the fire that forced family members to flee from a home that lacked a working smoke alarm in Elm Park, according to the FDNY.

The fire, which injured two firefighters and went to a second alarm, was called at 4:50 p.m. Tuesday at 67 Morningstar Road.

Fire marshals deemed the blaze accidental and said it was caused by "children playing with fire," according to a post on the FDNY Twitter feed.

"Smoke alarm present but not operational," according to the social media post.

The FDNY declined to provide further information about how the fire started.

However, matches and lighters were left in places throughout the home that were accessible to the children, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation.

Firefighters battled the large blaze that caused significant damage to the home as flames and thick, black plumes of smoke soared into the sky.

The location is a multiple-story home near the Bayonne Bridge.

City Buildings Department records indicated two complaints were filed against the landlord of the building in the past year.

Kiwanna Deadwiley said she, her husband, and their children were all able to make it out of the home after noticing the fire, but had to leave the home without the family dog.

A spokesman for the FDNY said there were no ambulance transports from the scene, but that two firefighters suffered minor injuries.

FDNY ladders were stretched into the structure's second floor.

The fire was brought under control by just after 5:30 p.m., according to the FDNY.

The upper part of the home appeared to have suffered significant damage, with black char marks on the exterior.