NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Fire marshals investigating a blaze in a Bushwick brownstone Tuesday said a child is responsible for starting the deadly fire that left his father and two sisters dead.
Jeff Larmond, 62, his 14-year-old daughter Dzhane, and his 3-year-old daugher Jemymiah were killed in the fire that broke out Monday around 5:30 p.m.
1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reports on the cause of the fire
Fire marshals said that a 5-year-old boy from the same family was playing with a lighter on a bed when the mattress caught fire.
Officials said the family delayed in reporting the fire and instead dragged the burning mattress down through the internal staircase, blocking anyone on the third and fourth floors from getting out.
“All I see is the stairs on fire and everything, and everybody was outside going crazy,” said Brandon Fernandez.
Teresa Wilson is now left with seven children after also losing a child to leukemia last year. She doesn’t believe her son could have started the blaze.
“He’s hysterical though, you know, he’s shook up,” Wilson said. “I’m hysterical too, I’m not even here right now, I’m somewhere else.”
Seven other people, including two firefighters, were injured.
“Another child was just screaming out for her mother, and my son says he just saw the fire from behind them take both of them out,” said neighbor Arelis Cruz.
Cruz said at one point she even helped a man who got out of the fire with burns on half his body.
“I was holding his hand the whole time, and all the time he was just asking for his baby, his baby,” she said.
The family of those killed in the fire is now asking for prayers. After losing everything in the blaze, they are also in need of clothes, shoes, etc. Usable items can be sent to:
303 Vernon Avenue
Brooklyn, New York