Suspicious Brownsville Blaze Guts Apartment

BKLYNER - June 07, 2019

by Todd Maisel

BROWNSVILLE – Residents of a Brownsville building fled from their homes when a fire ripped through a fifth-floor apartment, fire blowing out several windows when firefighters arrived, fire officials said.

No injuries were reported, though two children were checked for smoke inhalation, but did not require a hospital visit, officials said.

The fire broke out shortly before 11 a.m. in a six-story multiple family apartment building at 1920 Union Street off Ralph Avenue. Firefighters arrived and found fire roaring from two windows of the building and residents running into the street.

An all-hands response brought in 50 firefighters who attacked the flames from the inside and from a tower-ladder outside on the street.

Brianna Santacruz, 13, was in her fourth-floor apartment, just below the fire, with her siblings and grandmother when the fire broke out.

“I thought it was just a little fire – didn’t think that big,” Santacruz said she held her parrot Sebastian that she received for her birthday. “My neighbor said it was big, so we all ran out – I was a little nervous.”

The fire was brought under control in a half an hour, but by then the apartment was destroyed and smoke had filled the building. Residents and neighbors stood outside in the summer-like heat, waiting to re-enter the building.

The fire was considered suspicious because there was no established caused of the fire. Fire marshals will investigate the cause of the fire.