Boy on life support after Brooklyn fire

July 8, 2008 4:09:15 AM PDT
Three people, including a 5-year-old boy, were hurt in an apartment fire in Brooklyn Monday.The flames broke out just after 3 p.m. in a multi-unit building on Knickerbocker Avenue in the Bushwick section.

Authorities say the young boy was rushed to New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in cardiac arrest with burns over 90 percent of his body. The boy's grandmother and a fire fighter suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Valuables may have been lost in the fire, but the life of Jay Herrera is what matters most.

"I saw the fire department carrying the boy out," witness Johnny Otero said. "He has shorts on, no shirt. They put him on the floor, and he wasn't breathing.''

Herrera wasn't breathing when he was finally pulled from the burning building, where he was trapped in the front bedroom of his grandmother's apartment.

Terrified witnesses say the grandmother, Nancy Herrera, made it out with relatively minor injuries, but the little boy suffered burns over most of his body.

It was a fire that a family friend believes the youngster may have started.

"He couldn't go to the park with me," Ramona Santos said. "And he said, 'I'm going to burn the house down when you leave.' But I didn't take it seriously.''

Because she says he'd made similar threats before.

But something sparked the fire. Investigators are trying to determine who or what it was, as the young boy remains on life support at the hospital. He is listed in critical but stable condition.


STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Pegues