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Brooklyn apartment fire kills 2 girls, police say

The 7- and 9-year-old girls were pronounced dead at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, police said.

Authorities said Sunday two children have died in a Brooklyn apartment fire. Firefighters pulled the girls, ages 7 and 9, from the building around 11 p.m. Saturday. Police said they were pronounced dead at a hospital. The cause of the fire is under investigation. (Credit: James Carbone)

Two young girls who were visiting their grandfather were killed and several others were injured after a fire broke out inside a second-floor Brooklyn home late Saturday night, the NYPD said.

The two girls, ages 7 and 9, were found in a back bedroom of the Bushwick apartment at 165 Schaefer St. after the blaze broke out just before 11 p.m., FDNY Deputy Chief James Smithwick told reporters. Emergency personnel tried performing CPR on the girls at the scene, but they were both pronounced dead at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center. 

The girls, who were identified as 7-year-old Payton Gomez and 9-year-old Haley Harris, did not live in the apartment and were visiting their grandfather at the time.

Firefighters responded to the blaze within about three minutes, Smithwick said, but "found an advanced fire condition in an apartment in the rear of the building.” 

A 53-year-old man was also taken to Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition, police said. Fire officials said two other adults were also taken to the hospital suffering from minor injuries. 

The FDNY's fire marshal will determine the cause of the fire and the medical examiner will determine the cause of death for the two girls.


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