Authorities have revealed the identities of the five people killed in a fast-moving fire that consumed a two-story home in Queens over the weekend, trapping at least two victims in an attic as desperate firefighters launched what one official described as a "super-human" effort to save them.
Flames broke out Sunda around 2:30 p.m. inside a two-story house located at 112-16 208th Street near 112th Avenue in Queens Village.
Flames had engulfed the roof and upstairs rooms of the two-storey wood-framed house by the time firemen arrived.
New York Fire Department personnel stand outside the scene of a deadly fire Sunday, April 23, 2017, in Queens Village in New York that killed multiple people, including children.
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A burned-out vehicle was found behind the house and witnesses reported hearing loud booms, but Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said there didn't appear to have been an explosion. Another witness claimed to have seen a badly burned baby being carried from the home.
The youngest child who died was 2 years old and the oldest victim was 21, according to New York City Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Nigro, but as of Sunday afternoon one victim's age was still unknown.
This story has been corrected to show that NY police now say the ages of the fire victims ranged from 2 to 20, rather than 2 to 21.
The cause was still under investigation. "This is a very, very sad day for people here in Queens Village", he said during a press conference. The victim, a roughly 46-year-old man, fell onto a porch roof and then a lawn and survived, Nigro said. Briggs, a woman of faith admits the death toll was just too much. "It's a bad, tragic loss". No firefighters were seriously injured. "Get off the roof!' because the fire was nearly on his back", Gordon said.
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Witness Tiasha Johnson told the Daily News of NY that the family's relative screamed for the little ones. "People were screaming, 'Get them out.' The whole sky was black".
As investigators examined the home on Monday, the acrid smell of smoke hung in the air, and witnesses to the raging fire recalled the horror of seeing some members of the family trying to escape the burning home.
The fire is the deadliest in America's biggest city since March 2015, when a house fire in Brooklyn started by a hot plate killed seven children, all siblings.
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