NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Officials say an electric plate is to blame for a fire that killed a man and his teenage daughter in the Bronx Sunday morning.

The FDNY was called at 12:12 p.m. to the seven-story building at 2821 Dewey Ave. in the Throgs Neck section of the Bronx. The fire was on the fourth floor of the building, the FDNY said.

Jerry Arocho lives down the hall from where the fire broke out.

“I heard somebody banging on the doors; people from the building, and they were saying: ‘Fire! Fire! Fire!’” Arocho told 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern.

Arocho opened his door to a hallway full of smoke. After running outside, he saw first responders try to save his neighbors – 62-year-old Nelson Rojas and his 13-year-old daughter, Yolanda.

“They brought the dad out first; they brought the man out – was trying to work on him. His body was motionless. I see them, ask them, ‘Where’s his daughter at?’ Maybe a few minutes later, they pulled her out; dragged her out,” he said. “She was also motionless as well; no response.”

Both Nelson and Yolanda were rushed to NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi where they were pronounced dead.

Two firefighters also suffered minor injuries and were taken to a local hospital, officials told CBS2. The fire was under control by 1 p.m.

The Fire Marshall determined the fire was caused by an electric plate in close proximity to bedding in the home.


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