2 bodies found after fire and collapse of vacant building in Brooklyn

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Two bodies have been discovered as the search continues for victims amid the collapsed debris after a building fire in Brooklyn.

The four-story building under construction went up in flames and collapsed in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn on Monday morning.

The bodies were found Tuesday and the Medical Examiner will determine the gender, identity and cause of death for both.

It all started when a building on Gates Avenue erupted in flames just after 5:50 a.m. Monday and quickly collapsed like a pancake, fire officials said.

One firefighter suffered a minor injury, and the flames spread to multiple adjacent buildings.

There were unconfirmed reports that there may have been squatters inside, as firefighters checked the stability of nearby buildings, including a storefront church next door.
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Reporter Derick Waller recorded video at the scene of Monday morning's major fire in Brooklyn.

On Monday night, firefighters continued to search for as many as two people missing. They had said it may take days to complete the search.

FDNY Deputy Chief James McNally said the building was fully engulfed within minutes of firefighters' arrival, and he vowed the department will not leave the site "until we get to the foundation and make sure it is searched properly."

Investigators are working to determine if the fire started accidentally or was intentionally set, as well as why the building was allowed to sit unattended for so long.

The Department of Buildings told Eyewitness News it issued multiple stop work orders for the site in recent years because of violations including an unlocked fence.

Neighbors said they have been complaining to the city about the situation for years, and no lasting action was ever taken. They say the neglected building was a disaster waiting to happen.

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Upon leaving the store, Suffolk County police say the woman saw a woman filming her.

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