FDNY: Smoke Detectors Absent In Deadly Brooklyn, Bronx Fires

NY 1 - December 21, 2013

NY1 News The city fire department says missing smoke detectors likely led to the death of a 16-year-old girl in Brooklyn Friday morning and two Bronx men the night before.

In Brooklyn, FDNY investigators say three sisters -- ages 16, 26, and 28 -- were found unconscious together around 5:30 a.m. in a bathroom on the top floor of a three story house located at 293 East 8th Street in Kensington.

They were taken to the hospital in serious condition, where the 16-year-old was pronounced dead on arrival.

The two other sisters remain in critical condition.

The firefighters from Ladder 147 and Engine 281 battled the smoke and flames to search the house for those who were unable to get out.

"I found a bathroom door that was shut. It appears that the three people that were trapped had tried to hide on the third floor in the bathroom," said FDNY Firefighter Thomas Bradley.

Two other members of the family made it out on their own with minor injuries.

The FDNY says the smoke detectors in the home were not working.

"Had they had working smoke detectors in the house, they would have gotten a much earlier warning and we might be having a different conversation," Bradley said.

No firefighters were injured at the scene.

Meanwhile, two brothers in the Bronx were killed Thursday night following a fast-moving fire inside a building located at 2700 Grand Concourse.

The FDNY says the fire began just before 11 p.m. inside a sixth floor apartment located at 3915 Carpenter Avenue.

Once firefighters made it inside, they found one of the brothers dead, while the second brother was rushed to a hospital, where he also died. Both of the men were in their 40's.

One neighbor says she tried to help, but the heat made it impossible.

"As I was getting ready to get to work tomorrow, I noticed that there was smoke coming into my bedroom. So, when I opened the door, I could see the apartment across the hall from me was engulfed in smoke," said the neighbor. "I called out to my family first, and I went to try to touch the door, but it was too hot. So, I called on my other neighbors, got my brothers ready and headed downstairs."

In all, it took 65 firefighters about 35 minutes to bring it under control.

One firefighter was burned and two others suffered minor injuries.

Police say the fire looks suspicious, as there was no immediate cause.

The Kingsbridge fire follows another blaze that occurred a little before 8 p.m. inside a six-story building located at 3915 Carpenter Avenue.