Mom questioned after 4 kids injured, 2 critically, in Washington Heights fire

Thursday, March 21, 2024
4 children, 1 adult hurt in Manhattan apartment fire
Sonia Rincon has more on the devastating fire that engulfed an apartment in Washington Heights.

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan -- The parents of two young boys critically injured in an apartment fire in Washington Heights are being questioned on Thursday.

Officials say flames broke out just before 11 p.m. Wednesday in the 11-story building on Audubon Avenue.

In total, four children and one adult in two different apartments were injured. Three of those children were left home alone when the blaze broke out, police said.

When the fire started in her 5th-floor apartment, an 8-year-old resident ran next door to alert her neighbors. The neighbor arrived to the apartment to find the fire rapidly spreading.

Neighbor Yeucania Germosen said she and her sons desperately tried to reach two little boys who were still inside. When they went inside, a piece of furniture was on fire in the living room, blocking their way to the bedroom.

She says she knocked on another neighbor's door for help and they tried too. But all they could do was get the 8-year-old out safely.

The girl's younger brothers, ages 1 and 2, were pulled from the burning apartment by firefighters in very critical condition.

Their 23-year-old mother is being interviewed by investigators. A neighbor who did not want to be identified said they saw the mother of the three children making a quick run to the store to buy milk.

Neighbors said they believe the father was at work at the time.

A 28-year-old mother and her 8-year-old daughter from another apartment were treated for smoke inhalation and are said to be stable.

It took firefighters about an hour to get the blaze under control. Many residents waited in the cold as fire officials rescued residents from their ladders.

"It was close enough that everyone could smell the smoke, it was alarming enough for everyone to be worried if it could spread to you," a neighbor named Jesus said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


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