A 12-year-old boy is dead and eight other people are hurt after a fire at an apartment building in Queens on Sunday, the city fire department said.
It happened around 3:10 a.m. on Ocean Promenade near Beach 123rd St. in Rockaway Park.
Officials said flames broke out on the fifth floor of an apartment building. That is where firefighters found the boy, Thomas Curly, unconscious.
He was rushed to St. John's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
One neighbor was heartbroken to hear the news. "TJ was an exceptional little boy," the neighbor said. "He was a great student, he was the teacher's favorite, and he was a favorite in the building. We all just loved TJ. Nobody has a bad word for that boy. Always happy and helpful, he would hold the door for you. Fantastic little boy. And he will be missed sorely by the people in this building, his neighbors."
A firefighter was among five people who suffered minor injuries due to the blaze. Three others suffered serious injuries, officials said.
The fire department said someone smoking accidentally sparked the flames, and that the building did not have a working smoke alarm.