Firefighters were called to the scene at Albany Avenue and Park Place in Crown Heights around 4:30 a.m. Sunday.
The flames began on the ground floor and quickly engulfed the three-story building.
Very intense smoke and flames made the work of firefighters very difficult.
Albertha West, the 81-year-old matriarch of the family was killed in the fire -- the home was her family compound where she watched generations grow up.
"We came here from Grenada and they were sweet -- welcomed us, made us feel so comfortable. I'm reeling right now, you know?" said neighbor Jason Thompson.
Albertha's son Michael West, 58, and her 33-year-old grandson, Jamiyl were also killed in the fire.
"Every family event I came over -- birthdays, holidays -- I was there. They were that family," said family friend Greg Bruno.
Most of the other patients at the scene were assessed for smoke inhalation and released.
One firefighter suffered a serious but non-life-threatening injury.
It's unclear what caused the fire or whether smoke detectors were inside and operational at the time.
* More Brooklyn news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube