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Red Hook Fire Sends Four to Hospital

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TWC News: Red Hook Fire Sends Four to Hospital
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Four people were sent to the hospital after a fire broke out in an apartment building in Red Hook Sunday morning. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.

The smoke inside Red Hook West, located at 75 Bush Street, was so bad Sunday morning a man tried to escape by jumping out a fifth floor window as neighbors watched.

"I kept saying, 'Oh God please don't jump don't jump.' And when I turned my head and turned right back around, I seen his body come out the window," said Jacquelyn Pollard, a building resident.

The fire started just before 7 a.m. and grew to two alarms.

"My mom woke me up. She was screaming. There was a whole bunch of smoke in the house and she was telling us to get out," said Mark Marrero, a resident of the apartment where the fire started.

Marrero lives in apartment 4D. He says the fire started in his kitchen.

"Where the circuit breaker was at is where the fire was," he said.

State Assemblyman Felix Ortiz says the building had problems in the past of exposed wires hanging near light fixtures.

"If that is the case that will be very problematic to me as I was told that some of those features had been addressed," Ortiz said.

Although the flames were contained to the one apartment, smoke filled the halls of several floors, making evacuation difficult.

"Smoke was coming from the apartment to the hallway and apartment windows. So we thought there might have been an additional fire in the building," said FDNY Assistant Chief Ronald Spadafora.

"I heard noises so I opened the door. It's pitch black. I cannot see anything," said Mandy Chen, a building resident.

The man who jumped is 54 years old. He landed on scaffolding, which residents say prevented firefighters from getting either to him or the blaze. They say it's been up for years but complain very little work has been done.

"They had to put the hose through the entire building in order to get to the fire," said Shamel Williams, a building resident.

"It's been here a good two, three years and they haven't done any work," Pollard said.

NYCHA officials visited the building after the fire was out and said the scaffolding is for brick repair work.

In a statement, they said, "The projected removal date varies by building, and may be as early as June or July for the first buildings."

All told, 13 people were injured, four of them hospitalized including the man who jumped.

He is expected to survive.

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