The fire broke out Friday just after 5 a.m. on 40-46 Case Street in Elmhurst.
Wali Ullah says for the past 24 hours, in his gut, he knew his cousin, Golam Saroar did not survive the fire.
Cops say body found today in attic of a 2-story residential building that was burned by a fire yesterday morning. Fire Marshall on scene on Case Street in Elmhurst, Queens. Family members of missing man say he was a hard-working immigrant who was also attending night school. pic.twitter.com/67kdxBw00O— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) May 13, 2018
"To be honest, I really wish that's not him. You know, I really wish. But as far as I can see what's going on," Ullah says.
Friends describe 39-year-old Saroar as an ambitious immigrant from Bangladesh who was working while attending night school.
"I'm very shocked. He used to be a very lovely person. He was like very friendly with us," says Pavel Khan.
A woman was critically injured in the two-alarm fire that broke out Friday morning. Two other residents suffered serious injuries.
It took more than a hundred firefighters to get flames under control. Seven firefighters were hurt.
"During the course of the fire, we had an interior stair collapse, which caused a serious injury to one of our members," says Deputy Assistant Chief Wayne Cartwright.
Family and friends of the victim said they tried to get help sooner.
"I went to the police station, I was like begging to them, almost like cry to them to give me a little bit of clue where I could find him,:" says Ullah.
A spokesperson for the FDNY says the victim's family asked police to check the building again around 5 p.m. Saturday. Firefighters arrived back on scene within an hour.
Fire officials say they found a great deal of clutter inside the home, and the building was deemed condemned and unlivable.
The FDNY says the fire was caused by faulty electrical wiring and that there were no fire alarms inside the home.
The New York City Department of Buildings said its inspectors responded to the scene Friday morning and issued a full vacate order to the entire building as a result of the fire damage.
DOB inspectors found that the legal two-family residence had been illegally converted, with an apartment illegally created in the basement and multiple Single Room Occupancy units illegally added on the first floor.
The DOB ordered the property owner to board up the vacated building and issued the owners multiple violations for the illegal conversions found.
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