NEW YORK — Three children, including a 10-month-old girl, and an adult were killed in an early-morning fire in their Bronx home Sunday, New York City Fire Department officials said.
The blaze broke out in the two-story brick house on Quimby Avenue near Castle Hill Avenue about 6 a.m.
Two boys, ages 12 and 10, died at the scene, police said Sunday. First responders rushed the baby girl and a 22-year-old man to Jacobi Medical Center but neither could be saved, cops said.
The victims are believed to be members of a large family living in the home, police sources said.
“It’s a big family next door ... The kids play in the yard,” said Imlaque Chowdhury, 30, who lives next door and whose house was badly damaged when the fire spread there.
‘They’re our neighbors. The children used to play with the other neighbors’ children, playing out in the front. They’re very good kids and really nice people.”
A 41-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman were critically injured, police said. Three firefighters were hurt battling the blaze, FDNY officials said.
At least eight members of the family have lived in the house for the past five years or so, Chowdhury said.
“It’s very unfortunate,” he said. “I’m going to miss the kids, seeing them all the time, saying hello.”
Video shared on social media shows a firefighter rushing away from the fire toward an ambulance holding the little girl. Other firefighters can be seen carrying a victim out of the house and EMS workers performing CPR.
Another pair of videos, taken from a neighbor’s doorbell camera, caught the flames bursting through the windows and the piercing wails of a woman yelling out for several minutes.
“It was just little kids screaming,” said Julio Almodovar, 44, who lives across the street. They were crying.”
Firefighters were greeted by thick smoke and flames on the second floor and the fire had spread to the ground floor.
“We had heavy fire on the second floor, venting out almost every window,” FDNY Assistant Chief Kevin Brennan said.
As the flames raged, Chowdhury said he pulled a woman and child from the burning house onto his terrace.
“I saw the fire, it was all through the windows, everything. Every single window was just insane, intense. I can feel the heat from my house, smell the burning wood,” he said.
“My wife woke me up. I ran to the other side of the house because I heard noise. When I looked out the window I couldn’t see anything, it was all black everywhere and then I continue to hear the knocking and then I noticed they were standing there.”
“I heard the screaming of the lady,” he added. “Once I heard her I came, opened the window and grabbed her and the kid and brought them inside my house.”
The flames also jumped to his house.
“The whole apartment is burnt. Everything is gone. I’m just trying to figure out what to do,” he said of his own home. “I’m just very sad for the family next door.”
Linda Torres, 50, who lives on the block, said she was awakened by the screaming.
”There was an agonizing cry and then you heard banging and saw the smoke. Then the firefighters were trying to get in,” she said. “I stood there, looked, and I saw the smoke coming from the back. All of a sudden it just erupted. The fire department came. They couldn’t get into the doorway until they finally broke it down and went in.”
More than 100 firefighters from 25 FDNY units responded to the scene. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams arrived at the scene just before 2 p.m.
Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, who also visited the scene, came after getting word that people were seriously injured.
“My first instinct is always to pray, pray, pray, pray ... pray for survival, and then I heard there was a child that was pronounced dead,” she said. “And my heart broke because as a parent you never ever want to be told your child has been lost due to a fire when you tried everything to save their lives.”