Bronx Woman Dies After Being Trapped in Basement by Fast-Moving Fire

NY Daily News - November 13, 2010

by Kate Nocera AND Barry Paddock

A Bronx woman died after being trapped in her basement apartment by a fast-moving fire early Saturday morning, authorities said.

Johanna Parliament, 60, was rushed to Jacobi Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead, police said.

She lived in the basement apartment of the house on Gifford Ave. in Throggs Neck with her daughter, who suffered minor injuries. Another family that shares the apartment was away for the weekend, neighbors said.

"I heard the daughter yelling out my name," said Noel Medina, 46, who lives next door. "She kept screaming her mother was trapped inside. I ran out to try and help her. I broke one of the windows with a flashlight but the whole place was engulfed in smoke and flames."

"We had to hold her daughter back from trying to go back in to get her," Medina added.

Parliament was well-liked on the block, neighbors said.

"That woman was golden," Medina said of the victim. "She was so kind, and would give me coffee every morning."

The fire started about 1:23 a.m. It took 105 firefighters from 25 units nearly two hours to bring the two-alarm blaze under control.

"The flames were enormous," said neighbor Rosa Menendez, 58. "The entire block was covered in smoke."