4 injured, including 3 firefighters, in fire at apartment building in the Bronx
Several people were injured, including three firefighters, in a fast-moving fire that broke out at an apartment building in the Bronx and spread to another.
The fire started just after 5 p.m. on Thursday at a low-rise apartment building located at 4055 Carpenter Avenue in the Wakefield section, according to FDNY officials.
Four people were injured including three firefighters and one civilian. Officials say the civilian and one of the firefighters were more seriously injured due to smoke inhalation.
Roughly 200 fire personnel rushed to the scene to fight the four-alarm blaze.
Citizen App video captured flames on the roof of the building.
The inferno started near Carlos Cabrera’s fifth floor apartment.
“I just want to go home and my home is gone, I have no home no more,” Cabrera said.
He said he was about to go to the supermarket late Thursday afternoon when the lights went out. Then he noticed a strange glow.
“I thought it was my candle, I blew out the candle, the glare was still there,” he said. “I opened the light and there’s a fire inside the ceiling. So I used my fire extinguisher to turn it off, it doesn’t go off, it extends to my bedroom and my living room.”
Just like that, the flames enveloped the roof.
“The fire quickly spread to the cockloft area which is the space between the ceiling and the roof, and the fire was a heavy fire condition that consumed the entire cockloft area,” FDNY Chief John Hodgens said.
He said the fire then spread to the adjoining building through that common space which expanded the problem.
Residents in apartments downstairs had no idea the inferno was raging above them, because this type of building is required to have smoke detectors only in individual apartments. Below the fire there was no smoke, only water which cascaded down from the fire fight above.
“When I walked into my kitchen, my whole kitchen was flooded,” resident Alisha Watson said.
Watson gathered her family and fled.
“When we started walking out of the apartment the windows started breaking,” 8-year-old Javion Watson said. “When I started to walk out of the building a window busted and almost hit me.”
Department of Building inspectors on the scene found that the building sustained extensive structural damage due to the fire, including a partially collapsed roof, charred wood joists, and unstable interior walls. They issued a full vacate order for the entire building.
The Red Cross says they are assisting residents from 54 apartment units who have been displaced.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.