A 7-year old boy died in a fire that tore through a three-story apartment house in Brooklyn early Sunday morning, a Fire Department spokesman said.
In addition to the boy, seven other people were injured in the fire, which occurred on Decatur Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn, the spokesman said. The blaze began some time after 1 a.m., and it took firefighters nearly 90 minutes to bring it under control. Neighbors said the blaze began on the first floor of the building, but spread to the top floors before it was extinguished. By the end, more than 130 firefighters were on the scene.
The boy, whom the police identified as Joel Smith, was found in a rear bedroom of a first-floor apartment, Fire Department Battalion Chief Michael Lee said. A woman whom neighbors identified as his mother, Mia Smith, was hospitalized with injuries at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, the authorities said
A man who would identify himself only as Mohamed, 29, lives on the building’s third floor, and said he was home watching television when he smelled smoke. “I said, ‘Something is wrong,’ ” he said. “I said to everyone on my third floor, ‘Let’s get out.’ ”
When Mohamed got outside, he saw a man with severely burned hands screaming.
“He said, ‘My son, my son,’ ” Mohamed said.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but the authorities said they do not believe it was intentionally set.
Eddie Rodriguez, 55, a neighbor, said that he heard somebody on the street shouting “1066.” He said he could smell smoke from his second-floor apartment and went downstairs, where he saw a man cradling a shirtless child.