On Sunday, a fire broke out at a two-story Queens home and killed at least five people, three of which were children.
Early on Monday, the NYPD identified those killed as being two boys, ages 2 and 10, and three females, ages 16, 17 and 20. Additionally, four firefighters reportedly suffered injuries.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the fire was the deadliest for New York City in two years.
According to the New York Daily News, the victims were identified Destiny Dones, 20, Melody Edwards, 17, Jada Foxworth, 16, Rawshawn Matthews, 10, and two-year-old Chayce Lipford.
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“We don’t have all the answers that we want to have about what happened here,” de Blasio said during a news conference at the scene of the fire. “We do know five lives have been lost, including some young children. And our hearts go out to this family, and I’m asking all New Yorkers to keep this family in your prayers. This is a devastation of a family we rarely see but it has happened in Queens Village today.”
“It was like something out of a movie. There were so many firefighters out there,” said Tiasha Johnson, who lives in the neighborhood. “They tried to fight the fire but it was out of control. They were trying to get the people out of the house but they couldn’t get in fast enough to get them out.”
It is not yet clear what started the fire, which blazed so brightly that firefighters could see it before they arrived and called in extra help to get it contained. The flames spread to a house next door, but luckily, no one there was home.
“There’s a lot we need to know about what happened here, especially the fact that this happened in the middle of an afternoon on a day when the weather was good,” de Blasio said. “There are many unanswered questions and our fire marshals will get to work on that.”