Updated 12/22/2012 01:42 PM
House Fire Kills Young Father Of Two
Investigators are trying to determine what started a fire that killed a father of two on Staten Island early Saturday morning. NY1's Amanda Farinacci has the story.
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What used to be Christmas decorations now litter the front yard of 210 Osgood Avenue where a fast moving fire broke out early Saturday morning and killed a young man.
"It was horrible," neighbor Kerry Constantino said. "The flames were shooting out the top of the roof. I mean like, real intense."
His mother wouldn't speak with NY1 on camera but she says her son, 23-year-old Jameek Champagne, was sleeping in his third floor bedroom around 5:30 a.m. Saturday when the flames broke out.
"I heard my mother yell 'Fire! Fire! Fire!" So I looked out the window and I see there's a whole bunch of fire next door," neighbor Jonathan Quintana said. "When I came outside it just got worse and worse."
Champagne's mother consoled her son's girlfriend -- the mother of their two young children -- outside the home.
Neighbors say in a year that's already seen a deadly hurricane on Staten Island, this latest tragedy is overwhelming.
"We honestly don't really know what's gonna happen next," resident Jessica Opoku said. "I guess take every day as it comes I guess."
"I'm sorry to hear that he didn't get out the house," Constantino said. "It's like the worst Christmas that you could ever have. I just feel sorry for the family."
Fire investigators continue to work to find out what started the blaze, though officials have speculated that it may have been caused by a cigarette.
For now, Champagne's family will soon be planning a funeral.