NEWBURGH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – An early-morning house fire claimed the life of a little boy in Newburgh.
As CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported, charred siding and a few burned pieces of furniture were all that are left of the home on Coach Lane.
Neighbor Russell Crawford woke up around 4 a.m. Friday to someone pounding on his door.
“Flames were coming out the front of the house,” he told Liverman.
Crawford said he ran around to the back of the house and saw his neighbor stuck halfway out a window. He moved quickly and did everything he could to get the man out alive.
“I retrieved a sledgehammer, and we kind of loosened up the storm window, which is the old fashioned storm window. We were able to pull him out,” he said. “What he said to me frantically was that his wife was right behind him with the kid.”
Crawford said the smoke was too overwhelming for him and those around to go back inside. Seconds later, two police officers arrived on the scene and pulled the woman and boy from the home.
“They were both unresponsive,” he said.
Both were rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital, where the child was pronounced dead. The family hopes the woman survives.
Police confirmed at least a dozen other people were home at the time of the fire. All of them made it out.
“On Thanksgiving, I just can’t imagine what their family’s going through,” said Crawford.
Police have not released the names of the victims. They said several firefighters, along with the two police officers, were treated for smoke inhalation.
“They put themselves at risk,” Lt. James Nenni said. “No protective equipment, no. They got word there were people in there that needed help and they didn’t hesitate.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but officials say it does not seem suspicious.