NEW YORK. – A 6-year-old Dominican girl, her grandfather and a neighbor died burned Wednesday afternoon in a fire that devoured the two-story house where they lived, while her mother and brother of 10 were seriously in the Burns Unit in the Well Corniel hospital in Manhattan.
The authorities identified the victims as Emma Domínguez (6), her grandfather Claudio Rodríguez (76) and the neighbor Daniel Abreu Núñez (23).
Emma’s mother, Isabel Rodríguez, 35, and her 10-month-old brother, Liam Domínguez.
The New York Fire Department (NYFD) said more than 200 officers and dozens of units fought the fire, which is being investigated as a suspect and a man who had been taken into the house by the owner, Dominican Rafelina Moreno, is in the custody of the police as possible perpetrator of the incident.
The flames broke out at 4:20 in the afternoon, when the suspect allegedly set fire to the house, after the owner asked him to move because of the problems he was causing.
“He was in a hospital without a place to live, I brought him, I gave him my house and he burned it, he burned my house,” shouted Mrs. Moreno in tears at the scene.
“You can not help anyone, do not help anyone, look what he did to me, he burned my house,” the Dominican repeated over and over again.
The fire chief, Nigro, said his officers immediately observed something suspicious at the source of the fire, when they went to put out the flames.
The suspect is 23 years old and was interrogated last night at the Elmhurst district barracks in Queens, where the house is located.
The children and the mother, arrived tourist visa to New York two weeks ago and were visiting their relatives.
Firefighters said the fire was started with the manipulation of the stove or with gasoline in the kitchen.
The owner of the house said she asked the suspect to move, because he had another place to live, but increasingly hectic and strange, and he started a fight with the family of the owner on Wednesday morning, before the start of the fire.
The two-alarm fire broke out on the second floor of the two-story house at the intersection of 93rd Street and 23rd Avenue in East Elmhurst.
A tenant on the first floor heard the smoke alarm above and called 911.
Two people had already escaped from the burning house when firefighters arrived four minutes later, but were seriously injured, commissioner Nigro told reporters. Three other people were still inside.
The firefighters found the girl dead at the scene.
Police said the 23-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene, and the grandfather was taken to the Presbyterian hospital in Queens, where he was certified dead.
Late on Wednesday, police said the baby has serious life threatening and his mother was still in critical condition, but stable.
The firefighters had the fire under control at about 5:20 in the afternoon.