Blind Woman, 64, Killed in Brooklyn Blaze that Tore Through Her Basement Home

NY Daily News - December 20, 2015

by Anthony Izaguirre, Joseph Stepansky

A 64-year-old woman who neighbors said was blind died in a fire that tore through the basement of her home in Brooklyn Saturday, authorities said.

Emergency responders found the woman, identified by police as Alma Crosby, after firefighters battled the flames for nearly 40 minutes in the two-story home on E. 52 St. near Ave. L in Flatlands, police said.

Neighbors said Crosby was a former nurse who was often vistited by attendants and walked with a cane. In recent years she lost her sight.

“She started losing her sight little by little,” said Francisco Quintero, 64. “After two years she couldn’t see anything. She had become completely blind.”

Quintero’s son, Frank Quintero, 32, said he tried to alert Crosby, but it already seemed to be too late.

“I ran up the stairs and started banging on the front door. There were flames coming out the side door. A whole lot of flames coming from the side,” he said.

“We didn’t see her or hear her,” he said. “All you saw was smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke.”

Crosby lived alone at the address and barely left the small brick house, Quintero said.

“She was a very nice lady, but she was very quiet,” said the elder Quenter. “She wouldn’t talk with anyone. She would stay home and wouldn’t move.”

The Fire Marshal was trying to determine the cause of the 10:16 a.m. blaze. No other injuries were reported.

Police did not suspect any criminality.