Thursday, January 17, 2013

Investigation Continues into Fatal New Year's Blaze


(Photo by David Greene)

By David Greene

BRONX, NEW YORK, January 17- Investigators from the fire marshal's office at the FDNY have still not ruled on the cause of the fast-moving blaze that broke out in the early morning hours of December 31, on Beach Avenue in Soundiview.

The fire killed John Debro, 73, sister-in-law Annetta Isaac, 71, and grandson Jahvonte Smith, 12, who all died inside their burning home at 735 Beach Avenue. At least three residents and two firefighters were also injured.

Chief William Oehm of Battalion 18, who stated, "I think we were here in three minutes," discounting reports from residents that fire trucks passed the street, and once at the fire they were delayed as much as 20-minutes.

Chief Oehm admitted that one dead fire hydrant on the block, "might have delayed us slightly," but added, "It was just such a high volume of fire."

Witness Haley Terrell fumed, "You had the entire block out here
screaming at them to help... they could have save those people."

The Red Cross was providing shelter for the two-dozen or so residents who were displaced by the fire.

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