Queens Neighbors Horrified to Learn Three People Were Killed in Fire at Abandoned Home

NY Post - November 23, 2019

by Georgett Roberts and Amanda Woods

Neighbors of a long-abandoned Queens home that went up in flames late Thursday were hoping no one was inside — then three bodies were carried out.

Authorities say the blaze erupted in the home on Farmers Boulevard near 110th Road in Jamaica around 11:55 p.m. Thursday, killing a trio of squatters.

The building had been “vacant on and off for the last 10 years,” according to neighbor Alicia Evans, 34, an assistant teacher. Con Edison hadn’t supplied power there for about two years, fire officials said.

“For the last four years, it was empty,” Evans said Friday morning. “The city came and boarded up, and they put a ‘No Trespassing’ sign on it.

“The fire was crazy,” she added. “A lot of people were outside. Everybody wanted to make sure there was no one inside. I was praying, ‘Please, don’t let anybody be inside.’

“Then they came out with one [body], and people were like, ‘Oh my God.’ They put that one down, and then they came out with another. And then another one. It was three of them. They brought them out covered up.”

The victims — all adult males — were in the home when the flames erupted, fire officials said. Two were discovered on the first floor and one was found on the second floor.

“It’s sad,” Evans said. “Nobody shouldn’t have to die like that, even if they were homeless.”

Authorities say the blaze erupted in the home on Farmers Boulevard near 110th Road in Jamaica around 11:55 p.m. Thursday, killing a trio of squatters.

The building had been “vacant on and off for the last 10 years,” according to neighbor Alicia Evans, 34, an assistant teacher. Con Edison hadn’t supplied power there for about two years, fire officials said.

“For the last four years, it was empty,” Evans said Friday morning. “The city came and boarded up, and they put a ‘No Trespassing’ sign on it.

“The fire was crazy,” she added. “A lot of people were outside. Everybody wanted to make sure there was no one inside. I was praying, ‘Please, don’t let anybody be inside.’

“Then they came out with one [body], and people were like, ‘Oh my God.’ They put that one down, and then they came out with another. And then another one. It was three of them. They brought them out covered up.”

The victims — all adult males — were in the home when the flames erupted, fire officials said. Two were discovered on the first floor and one was found on the second floor.

“It’s sad,” Evans said. “Nobody shouldn’t have to die like that, even if they were homeless.”

More than 100 firefighters responded to battle the blaze, with one suffering minor injuries.

He was transported to North Shore University Hospital, authorities said.

“The flames were big, they were strong, they were rapid, it spread fast, maybe because of the debris inside,” Evans said. “It started from the basement up. The flames were bright orange and yellow. It was bright and glowing.”

The house appeared gutted Friday morning, and several windows were knocked out. A man’s single shoe rested on the porch.

The fire marshal was on the scene, and investigators combed through the home with a dog. National Grid was also on scene.

It was obvious people were using the vacant home, said a neighbor, who only gave her name as T. Dowers.

“You could tell people were going in,” Dowers said. “We saw broken windows, shifted curtains. But there was no noise.”

A local store owner told The Post that vagrants “drink and get drunk and go in there to sleep.”

“We were all shocked,” said another neighbor who gave her first name, Johane. “This is crazy. It’s a vacant place. There is no electricity in there. I don’t know what they were doing in there.”

The victims’ names were not immediately released, and the cause of the fire remained under investigation Friday.