NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The FDNY battled three deadly blazes early this morning, and two are considered suspicious.
Firefighters were called around 3:15 a.m. to a home under construction on 217th Street near 104th Avenue in Queens Village.
Once the flames were out, first responders found a badly burned body.
Police said the victim was lying face-down with his hands bound behind his back. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
— Tara Jakeway (@tarajakewaytv) January 20, 2020
Neighbors told CBS2’s Tara Jakeway the news was like something from a horror movie.
“I’m not saying around here is perfect, stuff happens. But this one takes the cake,” neighbor Donet Rowe said.
“I’m scared, like I’m actually scared to come out my own house now,” said neighbor Briana Clayton, who lives across the street with her mother and grandfather.
“There was a lot of commotion outside, and he just happened to peek out of the window, and I guess he went into shock,” her mother, Kesha, said of her grandfather, who’s in his 70s. “I’m moving them out of here. Absolutely no ands, no ifs, no buts about it.”
Property manager Glen Brown said he was surprised that someone would use the empty property. The once-convenience store has been under construction for months.
“There’s no sections, there’s no water, no light. How’d they get in and why’d they get in, for what?” he wondered. “There’s no comfortability.”
Brown said crews haven’t been working on the building since last Thursday, because of the cold temperatures.
The Department of Buildings previously issued two stop-work-orders at the site, though it’s unclear is those were related to this incident.
The cause of the fire and the victim’s death are still under investigation.