FDNY: Two Critically Hurt in Flushing House Fire

NY 1 - June 05, 2018

by Michael Herzenberg

Fire marshals are investigating what sparked a fire in a Queens home early Monday morning that officials said left at least 11 people injured — at least of two whom were listed in critical condition.

More than 100 firefighters responded around 2 a.m. to the blaze at a home on 41st Ave. near 147th St. in Flushing. At least nine firefighters suffered minor injuries — mostly cuts and bruises — battling the blaze.

The rain helped dampen the flames, but it created a lot of smoke. It was tough for firefighters to see inside the home and hard for them to get around. Extreme clutter initially blocked them from entering the building and getting to the heart of the fire once inside.

FDNY Deputy Chief Brendan McSweeney: When units attempted to move in for extinguishment purposes, they were met with heavy debris clutter throughout the entire building. Approximately like three- to four-foot-high stacks of just all sorts of generalized debris. Herzenberg: Was this hoarding?

McSweeney: You could call it that, but considering it was a vacant building how all that got in there is a mystery to me.

The Department of Buildings said the two-story home has been vacant since 2013, but neighbors said the building has been an eyesore and a concern that they have complained about for months.

"The house is like known as a vagrant house," one woman said. "A lot of people hang out there that shouldn't be there, so we weren't kind of surprised that it just went on fire. My daughter goes to school up the block so we're very upset. It's in the neighborhood. You don't want stuff like this to happen in your neighborhood."

The two people first responders said were squatting inside suffered burns but were able to escape.