Five Injured, One Critically, in Bensonhurst Apartment Fire

Brooklyn Reporter - January 14, 2020

by JAIME DEJESUS

BENSONHURST — Five civilians were injured, one critically, during a fire that broke out on the first floor of a four-story apartment building in Bensonhurst this morning.

According to FDNY, on Monday, Jan. 13 at around 9 a.m., 12 units and 60 firefighters responded to the flames in the building on 24th Avenue between Benson and Bath Avenue. The fire was labeled as under control at 9:52 a.m. Of the five civilians injured, one was reported to have been critically injured; in addition, one person suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries, and three people suffered minor injuries.

Four victims were rushed to Coney Island Hospital while the other was taken to Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Residents of the building rushed to escape the flames.

“I was sleeping and I woke up to the sound of the smoke detectors,” one tenant, named Bogdan, told this paper. “I immediately called 911. I didn’t have time to grab some clothes. I was barefoot and had a t-shirt on. I opened up the fire ladder and tried to help people come down from the fourth floor because I was on the second floor. It was a good thing it was not at night.

“They came down with kids,” he added, “about seven to 10 people on my side. It was a big husTle. We tried to get people down as fast as possible.”

Resident Rafael Alsina took some video of the blaze

“I was in my apartment and I heard the fire alarm so I just kicked the screen out of my window and when I was going out, I saw what was going on,” he said. “It was hard for me to videotape it, but people should know what happened here so I kind of took a second clip then I decided to run down because I was afraid for my life.”

One person was about to jump when the firefighters arrived, Alsina added.

“The firefighters were great,” he added. They came just in time. If it lasted another minute, she may have had to jump. It was like a last-second situation. It was unbelievable.”

Additional reporting by Adam Balhetchet