Queens Apartment Fire Turns Fatal Sunday

CBS 2 - October 19, 2009

by Christine Sloan

QUEENS (CBS) - Investigators are still looking into the cause of a fatal fire in Queens Sunday morning, although they're not calling it suspicious.

The blaze killed 44-year-old Bianca Kuros, leaving her neighbors in shock.

There's heartbreak throughout the Queens building as neighbors try to come to terms with the death of a woman found inside her apartment, where a fire broke out in the living room early Sunday morning.

Rickey Burrus first noticed smoke coming into his unit downstairs.

"I went upstairs and knocked on the door and that door was hot - so then I knew that place was catching on fire," Burrus said. "Then I went downstairs, went out the building, and fire trucks were at the wrong building. I got the fire guys, and told them, 'come on back this way.'"

After getting in, firemen also found three other people - a female and two males - all seriously injured.

Davida Burrus knows the family that lives in the apartment - a mother and two daughters.

"I'm very, very hurt, because I wish my husband could have saved all of them, I wish he could have saved all of them," she said.

Fire officials say that, when the 9-1-1 call came in, they were given the wrong address, so they responded to another building nearby. Despite that, they say they were able to get the victims out within eight minutes of the call.

"We were able to get to the victims relatively quickly," fire chief John Sudnek said.

Except for shattered glass and the smell of smoke, it's hard to tell a tragedy took place at the apartment building.

"My apartment is flooded all out, so we have to go, we have to go to the hotel," Davida Burrus said.

While investigators know the carbon monoxide detector in the fire-ravaged unit went off, they don't know if the family had a working smoke detector.