Twin three-alarm fires in the Bronx and Brooklyn killed four women and injured numerous others Tuesday evening, fire officials said.
All of the women died in the Bronx fire in two separate apartments, police officials revealed. The women were apparently self-quarantined in their apartments during the coronavirus outbreak. However, they did not live in the apartment where the fire started, officials said.
At the same time, a 3-alarm blaze destroyed two multiple family homes in Bushwick, Brooklyn, further taxing the FDNY resources stretched thin due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fatal Bronx fire broke out at 7:38 p.m. on the top floor of a six-story building at 1560 Grand Concourse, forcing hundreds of residents to the street. The fire quickly went to a third alarm, bringing in 140 firefighters, EMS and members of the 44th Police Precinct.
The fire immediately ripped through the roof and into two apartments, where firefighter pulled two women from each of two apartments that were consumed in heavy black smoke. The women, not identified were rushed by EMS to Bronx Lebanon Hospital with burns and smoke inhalation where according to police, they died from their injuries.
A fifth person suffered minor injuries from smoke inhalation and was treated at Bronx Lebanon Hospital.
Published reports say one apartment dweller was using a space heater and may have sparked the blaze, though fire officials say the cause was under investigation by fire marshals.
Numerous accounts of this fire were posted on Citizen and Twitter, the fire could be seen from miles away.
— Jesus A Adrian M (@FUNG21) April 1, 2020
In the second fire, 150 firefighters responded to 1241 Hancock Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn just after 8 p.m., where they found fire concentrated in the basement and traveling up an air shaft to the roof of the building, quickly spreading into an adjoining building to the roof.
The fire could be seen for blocks as heavy smoke enveloped the area. The fire raged in the three-story row frames homes for an hour and a half before it could be brought under control.
One civilian and two firefighters were treated for minor injuries after the fire and were treated at Woodhull Hospital. Seven families were left homeless after the fire, officials say. The Red Cross was assisting families in both fires.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known and was under investigation by fire marshals.
Police and fire marshals seek suspect in train arson
The NYPD is seeking to speak to the individual in the attached photo who was seen exiting the West 110 Street and Lenox Avenue Subway station shortly after the incident.
Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM, on Twitter @NYPDTips.