2 dead in early morning apartment fire in Chinatown

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Friday, April 15, 2022
2 dead in early morning fire in Chinatown
Two people are confirmed dead following an early morning fire in Chinatown.

CHINATOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- Two people died in a second alarm apartment fire in Chinatown Friday morning.

Investigators say the residents were essentially trapped in their own home, which was so filled with clutter it was impossible to escape.

Heavy flames shot out a fifth floor window on Mulberry Street just before 4 a.m. Witnesses say the FND arrived quickly and went floor to floor evacuating the building.

"I started to hear the fire alarm, and started waking up and thought it was my alarm," Mason Whetstone, a resident of the building, said. "Then FDNY walked in and started screaming, 'Everybody get out of here.'"

The two residents who died were a 91-year-old mother and her 52-year-old son who suffered from a disability. The woman was rushed to New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Her son was discovered dead in the fifth floor apartment during the firefighting efforts.

"By the time I got to the front door, the hallway was full of smoke and there flames on the ceiling of it so I just ran down the stairs at that point," another resident said.

A 67-year-old home health aide for the disabled man also lived in the apartment with the family and was able to escaped. Investigators are interviewing the woman to learn more.

Four residents and two firefighters sustained minor injuries.

One firefighter fell through a stairwell while evacuating the building. The FDNY said that firefighter was said to be doing fine.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but at this point, it is not considered suspicious.

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