NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Fire officials say an everyday electrical appliance was to blame for an apartment fire that sent six members of a Brooklyn family to the hospital Saturday afternoon.
Dozens of firefighters were called to a three-bedroom apartment at the Marlborough Houses on West 11th Street in Gravesend around 2 p.m.
Four people, including two children ages four and eight, were critically injured.
Residents describe seeing the children’s distraught mother outside.
“She was screaming, ‘My babies, my babies!’” neighbor Glenda Reyes told CBS2. She noticed Lucia Pereyra’s nearby apartment was filled with heavy, black smoke – her young children and other family members, including husband, Robert, still inside.
“She fainted,” Reyes said. “She had no clothes, nothing. We had to put clothes on her and shoes.”
Two other people remained in serious but stable condition late Sunday. Eight were hurt in total.
Three of the critically injured patients were taken to NYU Lutheran Medical Center, and the fourth was taken to NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island. The seriously injured patients were taken to NYU Lutheran Medical Center, while the last two patients refused treatment at the scene.
Officials say a hard-wired smoke detector was present and working in the home when the fire broke out, and blame the accidental blaze on an in-room air conditioner inside the apartment.
Luckily, crews were able to keep the flames from spreading to other units.