2 Young Children Injured In Brooklyn Fire; 1 May Not Survive

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two young children were seriously injured early Saturday in a fire in the Bronwsville section of Brooklyn, and one was fighting for his life hours later.

As CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported, firefighters were dispatched just before 3 a.m. to the building at 373 Blake Ave., in the Van Dykes Houses public housing development.

The children – a 3-year-old girl identified as Dasani Rich and a 4-year-old boy identified as Rolando Rich – were all taken to Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center. The children were both reported in critical condition.

Dasani’s condition was improving early Saturday afternoon, but Rolando — who has leukemia — was fighting for his life, D’Auria reported.

The victims suffered smoke inhalation, the FDNY told 1010 WINS.

As 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported, five children were home alone in the second-floor apartment. The children injured in the fire were the youngest, while the oldest was in his mid-teens.

The children’s mother — Tarnesha Rich — was hanging out on the corner, but she ran back when she found but the apartment was on fire. She also suffered minor smoke inhalation and was hospitalized.

The older children, who were playing video games, got out safely on their own.

Firefighter Anthony Arroyo carried down the boy.

“When I got down here, it looked like the girl was starting to breathe, but the boy had the blank stare – lifeless – so that’s why I immediately started CPR as I was exiting the building,” he said.

A woman who lives one floor above ran out with her grandchildren.

“The hallways were dark. It was hard to find your way out. It was hard to breathe. It really was,” she said. “I was scared, but I’m fine.”

Another neighbor said leaving the kids home alone – even for a short time – was a major mistake.

“I don’t leave my kid in the house by himself. I work from 10 to 6, so I don’t leave kids in the house by themselves,” a neighbor said. “So that was already a no-no.”

Fire marshals and police were looking at a mattress from the master bedroom to try to determine the cause of the blaze. It was not believed to be suspicious early Saturday afternoon.

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