NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Tragedy hit a Queens neighborhood on Sunday morning. Two people — one of them a child– were killed in a house fire.
Emergency responders tried desperately to save 51-year-old Silvia Umana and Guadalupe Perez, a 7-year-old girl neighbors said was her daughter, after their family became trapped in their Richmond Hill home by a raging fire, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.
“And there was fire all over the house, in the front,” neighbor Hayley Santiago said.
Firefighters said the fire started on the first floor of the home on 117th Street off Atlantic Avenue, and extended to the second floor. Neighbors said Umana and her daughter were trapped upstairs, unable to escape the barred windows. However, Umana’s two teenage sons survived. Witnesses said the 15-year-old jumped out a rear window to safety.
One teenager was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition. The other suffered a non-life-threatening injury, fire officials said.
When asked how many people were taken out of the home, witness Stanley Pinose told Sanchez, “Four, and one of the kids, I guess he probably… I don’t know if he jumped out of the window. It’s heartbreaking, man,” Pinose said.
About 100 firefighters responded to the two-alarm blaze, frequently rotating in the intense heat. Witnesses described seeing fire coming from a window air conditioning unit, but its unclear if that’s what sparked the fire.
“The cause of the fire is currently under investigation, and I know it’s gonna be a question, we have no report of hearing a smoke alarm sounding by one of our units,” FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Michael Ajello said.
The cause of the fire does not appear to be suspicious, the FDNY said.
Umana’s 19-year-old son was listed in critical condition, while the 15-year-old was in stable condition.