NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Queens man is dead after a building went up in flames on Sunday night.

Investigators told CBS2’s Marc Liverman the fire is suspicious.

All of 150th Street was closed off as they continued to search for what started the blaze. All of it was happening just hours before Christmas Eve.

“I ran outside. When I looked outside all I saw was all these firetrucks and all the whole building was up in smoke. That one building,” witness Michael Dockery said.

The FDNY is investigating a suspicious fire that left one man dead on Dec. 23, 2018, in Jamaica, Queens. (Photo: CBS2)

Firefighters and other first responders flooded the scene in Jamaica at around 3 p.m. Neighbors said they watched as two victims were brought out of an apartment.

“One was critically burnt and one was on a stretcher, like he went into cardiac arrest. They rushed both of them to the hospital. To me, it was chaotic because I knew the two people. One was an old man and one was kind of an autistic man,” witness Ted Brown said.

One of those men, 64-year-old David Hawkins, died after being rushed to the hospital, officials said. The other victim, an 86-year-old man, was reported in critical condition at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. CBS2’s Liverman were told they were roommates. Neighbors rushed out as the fire spread.

“Then I started thinking about my son, so I ran upstairs and then got him out of there,” Dockery said.

Firefighters later confirmed the fire wasn’t an accident.

“Due to the heavy fire uon arrival and the time of day, we did deem this fire suspicious. The fire marshals are investigating right now,” FDNY Battalion Chief Chuck Downey said.

Investigators said they think the blaze started in a doorway and spread from there.


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