Mother and son killed after fire breaks out inside Queens home, neighbors say

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, January 9, 2024
Questions raised after Queens home fire kills mother and son
Sonia Rincon has the story.

SOUTH JAMAICA, Queens (WABC) -- Two people, believed to be a mother and son, were killed after a two-alarm fire broke out inside a home in Queens Monday night.

Firefighters responded to the home on 164th Street in South Jamaica, where they say a door left open fed those flames from the basement up to the second floor.

"Flames coming out of every window. I didn't know anybody was in there," said neighbor Ray Adams. "I didn't know."

Two people were found inside, an 86-year-old woman and 61-year-old man, on the second floor of the home and quickly removed them.

Both were pronounced dead on the scene.

"We very quickly located two occupants on the second floor, they were quickly removed," said FDNY Dept. Chief George Healy. "Unfortunately, both those individuals expired on the scene."

According to neighbors, the victims were a mother and her son, and it is believed the man, who got out, ran back inside the burning home to save her.

"That man was brave to go back inside and help his mom," said Gersham McGowan. "But he never made it. That's sad."

Rescue teams found medical equipment where the 86-year-old woman lived, and it appears she could not escape on her own.

The 61-year-old man is believed to have been living in the basement.

A next-door neighbor told Eyewitness News they heard the fire alarms from the burning home.

"I heard three times, the alarm," said neighbor Chantal Gbado. "We started running for the phone."

The FDNY says at least one of these fatalities was avoidable, especially since they were here within two minutes of the call to help.

"The recommendation is always once you get safely out of the house, never return," said Dept. Chief Healy.

One firefighter suffered minor injuries.

There's no word yet on the cause. FDNY Fire Marshals are investigating.


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