Three Die in Queens Fire - November 08, 2009


Living Situation, Dispatch System Questioned

NEW YORK - A deadly Queens blaze left three people in the basement dead and raised questions about the illegal living situation as well as the dispatch system used to alert firefighters to the fire.

Four others were injured in the fire - which broke out at about 2:45 a.m. at the two-family home on 65th Street near 43rd Avenue in Woodside - and taken to the New York Hospital's burn unit for treatment. Three are in serious condition; one in critical to serious, the FDNY said.

According to the New York Post the home - owned by Subir and Marina Barua since 1996 - was illegally divided into a five-family home, with five kitchens and five bathrooms, according to the Department of Buildings, which issued violations this morning.

The dispatcher sent firefighters to 62nd street initially and 2 minutes were lost which may or may not have saved the lives of the three men who died. The Uniformed Firefighters Association was angry with the dispatch system, which is now a centralized 911 system used all around the city.