A tenant started a fire in a Queens house that claimed the life of him and two others — including a six-year-old girl — and left a one-year-old boy was seriously hurt, sources told NY1 on Wednesday night.
New York City firefighters responded to the two-alarm fire in about four minutes to the home on 93rd Street, near 24th Avenue in East Elmhurst, shortly before 4:10 p.m. The FDNY said the fire broke out on the first floor of the two-story house.
When firefighters arrived, officials said, they saw a woman and the boy escaping the house, but three people were still trapped inside and died.
The FDNY said two men were pronounced dead at a local hospital, while the little girl died at the scene. The woman and the boy were in "extremely critical condition" at a hospital as of this writing due to burns and smoke inhalation, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said at a news conference. Witnesses estimated medics worked on the victims for about 30 minutes.
Sources told NY1 that the suspect, 24-year-old David Abreu Nunez, who died at the hospital, threw gasoline in the kitchen and started the fire. The homeowner had been trying to evict him, sources said, and the woman seriously hurt was visiting the homeowner with her two children. Her grandfather was the other man who died at the hospital, sources said.
The FDNY extinguished the blaze shortly after 5 p.m.
(Firefighters gathered at the scene of the house fire. Lori Chung and Kendall Rodriguez/NY1).
No firefighters were reported injured.
The identities of the victims were not confirmed as of this writing. Fire marshals are investigating.
According to a preliminary investigation, smoke alarms were present in the house.
The FDNY said someone on the first floor called 911.