The Patch - July 11, 2019by Maya Kaufman, Patch Staff
Three people died after a fire Wednesday burned through an East Elmhurst home and trapped them inside, the FDNY said.
EAST ELMHURST, QUEENS — Two men and a six-year-old girl are dead after a fire Wednesday burned through an East Elmhurst home and trapped them inside, according to the FDNY.
A woman and a one-year-old boy who suffered burn and smoke injuries from the fire are in the hospital in extremely critical condition, Fire Department officials said Wednesday night.
"It's quite unusual at that time in the afternoon to have a fire trap five occupants in a private dwelling," FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro said.
A third victim suffered minor injuries, according to City Council Member Francisco Moya.
Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire, which broke out just after 4 p.m. in a two-story home at 23-49 93rd St. in Queens. They have deemed the area a crime scene, Moya said.
Officials had not released the names of the five victims as of Wednesday night.
The building's owner, Rafelina Moreno, told the New York Daily News: "I tried to help somebody and look how they repaid me. They burned my home." She did not elaborate.
A resident on the first floor of the two-story home heard an alarm go off and called 911, FDNY officials said.
Firefighters got to the scene within minutes and rushed to rescue the three trapped individuals from the blazing building, but the victims succumbed to their injuries: One person died on the scene and two went to local hospitals, where they died.
It took more than 100 firefighters to battle the blaze, according to an FDNY spokesperson.