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Video: 3 dead, 13 hurt in fast-moving NYC basement fire

Firefighters faced a basement fire that had extended to all floors and the occupied exposures

By Theodore Parisienne, John Annese
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — Three people were killed by a fast-moving fire in a Brooklyn brownstone early Sunday, police and FDNY officials said.

The three-alarm blaze broke out in the basement of a home on Albany Ave. near Park Place in Crown Heights about 4:30 a.m.

It quickly spread through the building and raged two hours before firefighters brought it under control about 6:30 a.m., an FDNY spokesman said.

Police said two men, both 35, and a 63-year-old woman found inside by firefighters were rushed to Kings County Hospital but could not be saved.

“As you can see, it was a horrific fire that took place.,” Mayor Adams said from the scene Sunday morning. “We’re very fortunate, if you look at the flames, the damage on both sides of the building, you did not see extensive spreading, which is really amazing that it didn’t spread to the two buildings that were next to them.”

One firefighter was treated by EMS workers, and rescue workers evaluated 13 more victims at the scene, FDNY officials said.

“This was a difficult and dangerous operation. When you have heavy fire on multiple floors of a building, it is time consuming to extinguish” FDNY Chief of Fire Operations John Esposito said in an Instagram post Sunday morning. “It’s a very dangerous operation for our firefighters. At the same time, while we are trying to extinguish the fire, they’re doing searches on the floor with the heavy fire and above that.”

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

One neighbor, George Williams, 69, said he first heard someone scream, “Oh my God!” and went out to investigate.

“I put my shoes on, I ran downstairs, and I saw flames coming from the bottom and then they worked their way up,” he said. “People were standing out there in their underwear, no undershirts on, it was bad, and it was cold this morning.”

He said he saw people running from the burning house.

“It’s like you were waking up in a dream,” he said. “And you were hoping it was just a dream but it was true.”

©2023 New York Daily News.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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