Brooklyn Building Fire Kills 3, Injures 7

Witnesses: Children Were Playing With Matches

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Three people died and seven others suffered non-life threatening injuries Monday after a fire in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire, but are calling it suspicious.

A 3-year-old girl, 14-year-old girl and 62-year-old man were killed in the blaze, 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported. Two of the nearly 60 firefighters who battled the blaze were also injured.

1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon speaks to witnesses in Bushwick.

The fire, reported shortly before 6 p.m., hit the upper two floors of a four-story building at 1150 Putnam Ave., near Bushwick Avenue.

Fire crews worked to extinguish the flames and brought the blaze under control around 7 p.m.

It was a scene that even firefighters had to pause and pray over. Chopper 2 HD was over the scene and was rolling as smoke and flames engulfed the building. One witness was helping a man who was burned on half his body.

photo 21 Brooklyn Building Fire Kills 3, Injures 7

(Photo/Sonia Rincon, 1010 WINS)

“And I was holding his hand the whole time, and he was just asking for his baby, his baby,” neighbor Arelis Cruz told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.

Cruz and her family live across the street from the fire, and said they saw it break out. Cruz and her son said there were children inside, playing with matches.

“I seen them playing with the fire, so I came from the store over there, and all I saw was the fire and everything, and everybody was outside going crazy,” Brandon Fernandez said.

“And another child was just screaming out for her mother, and my son says he just saw the fire from behind them take the two of them out,” Cruz said.

In addition to the dead and injured, some residents were seen jumping from the windows.

Neighbors told Dennis they were in shock over the deadly blaze.

“Yeah, they had a whole bunch of small kids in there,” Kimberly Connell said.

Though the fire remains suspicious, the FDNY is still investigating what neighbors were saying — children playing with matches.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • Shana

    People of a certain demograghic rearly sue, because they dont have the resouces to know tha in many cases they can. There are many people from and certain demographic that are law enforcment that our job is to respone to call even to peoplelike you Jim Marks and we stll have to go.

  • Dianna

    Is there anyway to gain information on the survivors of this family. It is such a tragedy, after watching this piece on the news, I am inspired to take up a collection of clothing and any other donations that may assist them. Please email me with any info pertaining to contacting someone @ CBS news that can point me in the right direction. These people not only lost their family, but all their clothes, food, and belongings.

  • leahw.

    smh..i was just with her around 3/4 o’clock yesturday..but they will always be missed..R.I.P dejahnay and stay the wilsn family

  • Mario D

    I was there when it all started I was meeting up with my brother across the street from this building next thing I know my brother is telling me to look back that’s when I saw a mattress on fire in the stairs while my brother called 911 I ran to the building screaming fire get out the people inside the bottom floor didn’t even know there was a fire after that I saw someone dragging a body out the door all burnt then me and another guy started taking out the kids who were on top of the stairs away from the building that’s when I notice a lady holding a baby on the second floor window that’s when the fire started going crazy I saw the NYPD arrived then FDNY like 10 minutes pass and they took out the first body all hard and burn then like 5 minutes they took out the baby girl she got carried to ambulance I read here she didn’t make it I’m guessing the lady that was holding her in the 2nd floor window was the 14 year old girl who also died that was a horrible scene watching these people lose there home and family it just less then 2 hours no one deserves that punishment my prayer goes out to then tonight sorry I couldn’t be of more help

  • Mr. Henderson

    I’m so sorry hear about this ! God rest their souls ! At all cost parents, neighbors and the schools and everybody must continue to educate all children how important it is not to play with fire. Keep placing ad’s about what can happen and what will happen if you continue to play around with fire ! The education must start at home ! Show these children on TV what fires can do to them and the home they live in ! And I hope it scares the HELL out of them so when they see a book of matches or anything that could start a fire they can tell someone or be able to flush those matches down the toilet. I’m so hurt and angry about this tragic story. Yes, when I was 8 years old I’d played with matches and throw the lit matches under a bed in a room that I was cleaning up in my house. Just to see what it would do ! My father was in another room watch T.V . Luckly the fire didn’t get far my father and I put it out ! Yes my parent preached to all of us don’t play with fire it dangerous and so on , but I had to see for myself want would really happen. I never did it again. Why because it’s very dangerous, and to look at the hurt on my father and mother face that was an enough for me ! So I believe if I saw enough tragic ad’s about what can happen to you if you do this with fire or playing with matches I problemly wouldn’t have played with thoses matches that day. Telling is very good but showing what will happen is even better. I hope whoever reads this understands what I’m trying to say ! To show more ad’s to children about what can happen if you play with things that can cause fires ! AND PARENT”S STOP LEAVING THING”S AROUND THAT CAN CAUSE FIRES, AND THERE SHOULD BE A AD FOR YOU TOO ! Think about it ! Also something else happen when I 12 years old ! Are house caught on fire and nobody was at home thank God ! So are neighbor’s called my mother and my mother called the school where we were at to come home. So we all got to are house and stood outside and watched the firemen try to put out the fire. So all the neighbor’s were asking everyone how did it start ? The first thing that came out of their mouth’s those boy’s were problemly playing with matches. That’s the only thing that came out of their mouth’s ! After the fire was out and the investgation was over, the cause wasn’t with anybody playing with matches, the old gas heater had a leak and expoded and caught fire. ! My point is wait until the investgation is over, and hopefully whoses every doing it must an experts ! What you think happen won’t work !
    Mr. Henderson

  • wellinsured

    either this was poorly written or the neighbor that “seen them playing with fire” just want to be in the news saying something stupid explain why he didn’t notify 911 but instead found it amazing to go back and watch the blaze. Something seems very suspicious about this – 14 yr old couldn’t break the window pick the 3 y/o up and run? May they all rest easy.

  • Jim Marks

    Why does FDNY even bother. These people are criminals who want to sue the PD& FD over stupidity they cause. If I was a cop or firefighter I would not react to the “emergencies”. I was in law enforcement and I could’nt care less if these people of a certain demographic lived or died.

  • Diana

    I agree with you Howie. This reliance on overpriced consultants with credentials designed to impress is outrageous. When Bloomberg was first elected, I thought he had efficient common sense that was a wonderful change. But what has happened to him? He seems so easily swayed by expensive highly credentialed snow jobs . . . Mr. Mayor, it’s time to bring back the firefighters, the sanitation workers, the teachers, the cops and let go of those outside consultants, CEOs, board directors and honchos.

  • Howie Sprague

    The number of fire related deaths in NYC is rising rapidly. Mayor Bloomberg’s disregarding the public safety needs of the citizens is criminal. He has closed firehouses, cut staffing on every engine in the city and constantly threatens to close more firehouses. SECONDS count when a fire is burning, the mayor needs to re-align his priorities. He was hired to run the city but wastes BIG money on outside consultants.

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