NEW YORK (CBS 2/1010 WINS) – At least eleven people have been injured in a two-alarm fire at a home in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
The fire started on the top floor of a three-story brownstone on Putnam Avenue just off Bedford Avenue around 4:30 a.m. Monday.
The Fire Department said one resident escaped by shimmying down a rope. Another was carried out by a firefighter even as each were covered in flames.
1010 WINS’ Kathleen Maloney spoke with firefighter Peter Demontreaux, who described the scene inside the home.
“It was intense heat…I actually suffered burns from it,” Demontreaux said.
“An occupant was burned [on] over forty percent of his body. He was in a lot of pain at the time and he was basically yelping as we made our dash through the window,” Demontreaux said.
Officials said six people were treated at the scene for minor injuries, but three people were taken to the hospital, for severe burns and smoke inhalation. Four firefighters were also injured.
There was no word on a cause, however, fire officials say the blaze appears to be suspicious.
Neighbors believe the fire was no accident.
“Somebody threw a bomb in there or a molotov cocktail,” a resident told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg. “I heard an explosion and everybody was trapped.”
Another man also has his suspicions.
“Just recently, there was a young guy that was involved in a shooting with some gangs,” the man said. “Maybe they came back to retaliate.”
Police confirm there was a shooting outside the building on Aug. 25, however, they can’t say if it is connected to the fire.
Officials tell 1010 WINS the single-family home had been subdivided into separate apartments and it is unclear whether it was done illegally.