Witnesses Say Suspicious Woman Seen Leaving Building

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A two-alarm blaze in Brooklyn on Thursday morning caused several injuries.

The fire, which the FDNY said was deliberately set, broke out at a three-story brownstone on Chauncey Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant at around 9:15 a.m.

Eleven people were trapped inside and injured, including some children. Four people — none of them children — are in critical condition due to smoke inhalation, officials said.

Firefighters had to use saws to cut through bars on some windows to make their rescue, CBS 2’s Amy Dardashtian reported.

A firefighter “came up, and we told him that he had to break the window with the crowbar,” said Shanell Dukes. “And he brought the crowbar, and we got out of there.”

“I was trapped, but the windows were stuck,” Derrick Owen said. “They had gates and rails and stuff like that on them. I had to go through the back window, and I had to get my little cousin through because she’s got asthma. So I had to get her through the back window.”

Some of the people who escaped the flames said they believe the fire was deliberately set in a hallway to prevent their escape, Dardashtian reported. Some witnesses said they saw a suspicious woman leaving the building just after the blaze started.

Juliet Papa of 1010 WINS was told a woman had been at the building a few days ago and allegedly tried to break into a first-floor apartment. Residents were wondering if that incident had anything to do with what happened.

Several animals had to be rescued, and Animal Care & Control was at the scene.

The street was still blocked off as of Thursday evening.

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