Queens Apartment Fire Kills 71-Year-Old Man

NY Times - August 07, 2010

A 71-year-old Queens man who was unable to escape a fire that consumed his apartment died Friday night, the authorities said.

The man was in his third-floor apartment at 22-75 77th Street, part of a row of short brick buildings just north of the Grand Central Parkway and a short walk from La Guardia Airport, when the blaze broke out.

Fire Department officials said he called 911 about 6:30 p.m. to report the fire, coughing and choking from smoke, and was in critical condition when emergency responders arrived a few minutes later.

Firefighters quickly put out the flames, which were confined to the apartment, and the man was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center. He was pronounced dead moments later.

The cause of the blaze was still under investigation Friday night, but it did not appear to be suspicious, the fire department said.