A 12-year-old boy and his grandfather were killed in a fast-moving building fire in Brooklyn early Monday morning, fire officials said.
The two others were also pulled from the smoke-filled sixth floor East Flatbush apartment at 30 Linden Blvd, including an 82-year-old woman and 30-year-old mother of the deceased boy. The elderly woman and woman were rushed to Kings County Hospital where the elderly grandmother was in critical condition, and the woman in stable condition with smoke inhalation.
Five firefighters were also injured during the frantic rescue, though none were considered serious.
The fire broke out at 1:54 p.m. when police received a 911 call of a fire inside 30 Linden Blvd near Flatbush Avenue. Firefighters saw heavy smoke billowing from the top floor apartment windows and ran up to the floor where they found heavy fire coming from a middle bedroom and hallway where the boy had been sleeping on a bunk bed.
Firefighters broke down the door and crawled into the heavily charged apartment where they found the three adults and a child. EMS rushed them all to the hospital, but only two of them survive at this time. The rescue was made more difficult by an apparent “Colliers Mansion” situation where property was stacked in the hallway connecting the rooms.
“People were having a barbecue and were just heading upstairs and then this happened,” said Jay Jeun, a resident who lives on the same fire floor. He said his girlfriend received cuts on her arm from falling glass.
“There were two families in there, the grandmother and the mother of the kid. I was actually asleep when it started. I had just come up and only a few minutes later smoke is coming from the windows,” Jeun said as he removed property from his apartment next door. “They were a sweet family – originally from Haiti – you would say hello in the hallway. The little kid would always volunteer to help you with packages when you went shopping.”
Corine Conde, a 22-year resident of the building, has her window facing the fire apartment.
“I was on the phone when I heard some noise and looked out my window and thought we had a fire in our apartment, but then I realize there’s a fire down the hall,” she said, as her daughter cleaned up her damaged room. “I opened the door and the whole hallway was full of smoke, I couldn’t see a thing, but I ran to the stairs to get out. I feel so bad for my neighbors, they were nice people.”
Fire marshals were on the scene early trying to find the cause of the fire. It was unclear whether the apartment had working smoke detectors at this time. The cause is still under investigation, officials said.