NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two people have died following an early morning fire in Queens.
The fire broke just after 4 a.m. Monday on the first floor of a two-story home on Wheatley Street near Brunswick Avenue in Far Rockaway.
“When I got up this morning, I saw the fire trucks and the ambulance,” said neighbor Barbara Davis. “Didn’t know what happened until I looked out the window and that’s when I seen the fire.”
Firefighters arrived at the home within minutes to a heavy fire, which had already reached the second floor and is believed to have started on the first.
Fire crews were not just battling the blaze, but also the weather.
“What happens is when you have wind conditions, and we had shifting winds and very heavy winds this morning, it makes fire conditions extremely difficult,” said FDNY Deputy Chief Dan Brown.
Police said two women were found unresponsive inside the home. They were taken to the hospital, where they were pronounced dead.
“It’s a horrible thing to see someone’s house burn like that and it’s horrible to see someone lose their life because of tragedy,” Davis said.
Davis said she often saw those neighbors, describing them as friendly.
“They always put a smile on their face every time you see them,” Davis.
“It’s really sad,” another neighbor said. “It’s unfortunate this had to happen. We’re sorry for the family’s loss.”
The victims’ identities have not been released. The cause of the fire is under investigation.