The flames erupted Sunday afternoon at the home on 169th Street in South Jamaica.
There was a lot of heroism on the street, from the children who ran to the firehouse to get help to the many neighbors who tried to reach the boy in the house, to the firefighters who raced against an unforgiving clock. But in the end, it was not enough to save the boy.
Barely able to walk or talk, the child's grandmother, friends say, is blaming and torturing herself for the loss. The fire broke out in the living room of the upstairs apartment in the two-family home. Officials say the fire was confined to the couches and furniture, but the smoke and heat would not be held back.
Within minutes, rescue crews found the boy in a bedroom and immediately began CPR. But it was already too late.
"Next thing I saw was them rushing out of the house, down the steps with the young boy in their arms," neighbor James Turner said.
"He sustained third-degree burns about the face, neck, suffered damage to the airway," FDNY Deputy Chief Michael Halderman said.
The grandmother, mother, 4-year-old boy and 3-month-old baby were home at the time. The grandmother grabbed the baby and, as she ran out, screamed for the others to follow. The boy's mother was in the shower at the time and escaped the flames naked, only to learn her son did not make it out.
Neighbors valiantly tried to reach him, but could not make it through the wall of smoke.
"We kicked in the side door," neighbor Karlene Ricketts said. "When we tried to get in through the side door, the black smoke just rushed us, so we had to run back down the stairs."
Fire officials say they are looking into whether or not the home had working smoke detectors. There is no word on what caused the fire, but police do not believe it was suspicious.
WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King
NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS