3rd and final victim in Mastic house fire dies

April 30, 2012 4:47:19 AM PDT
Barbara DeSouza, who was critically injured in a fire at her Long Island home on April 26, died on Sunday at Stony Brook University Medical Center.

DeSouza was originally listed in critical condition following the fire in Mastic late Thursday. Two men, including her husband Douglas DeSouza, were killed.

Suffolk County police say firefighters responded to the fire, on Broadway, after receiving a call from a neighbor at 11:17 p.m. Thursday. They tried to rescue the occupants of the home, but were held off by a wall of heat and flames.

"I don't think it's really sunk in yet how I feel," Christopher Brownell said.

He says his father, Robert Drake Brownell, had been living in Virginia for some 20 years, but moved a few months ago to try to reconnect with his children.

"I feel that I lost a father right when I was about to get him back again," Brownell said.

"He was coming back to try to put pieces back together, and I'm sorry he didn't get to do that completely," Gloria Radosta, Brownell's ex-wife, said.

Brownell was staying with the DeSouzas, his longtime friends.

People came by the house to express their sadness and to honor the military service of both men, who were Army veterans.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but officials say there were no working smoke detectors in the home.

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