NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Fire officials say a candle is to blame for a fast-moving fire that killed a 12-year-old boy and his parents in an illegally subdivided apartment building in the Bronx.
Christian Garcia and his parents, Juan Lopez and Christina Garcia, died in the April 25 blaze at a brownstone on Prospect Avenue. Lopez’s brother Arturo Lucio Gonzalez says the family wasn’t using candles.
Other family members inside the apartment were able to escape, including two small children and another adult relative.
Neighbors described the abandoned building as illegally subdivided and that it was frequented by drug dealers. City officials say access to fire escapes was blocked.
The building was in foreclosure and its ownership has been disputed.
Con Edison said that gas and electricity had been turned off because there was no record of anyone living there.
The fire has been ruled accidental.