A Guyanese man was among three persons killed in an early morning fire at a house in Queens, New York on Saturday.
According to reporters, the blaze was reported sometime around 05:37h at 90-31 48th Avenue in Elmhurst.
The New York Post reported that an occupant of the home’s second floor related that two of the dead persons were immigrants – one from Guyana and the other from Morocco.
The identity of the Guyanese man is not known.
It was reported that the flames were so intense at least one person jumped from the third floor to escape.
Two of those killed Saturday could be seen struggling to escape, and may have been unable to get out because a door leading to a second-floor terrace was kept locked, sources and a witness told The Post.
“I watched two guys die in front of me because I saw the smoke just surround them and suffocate them,” a first-floor resident told The Post.
Onlookers could hear anguished cries, the article stated.
One “guy was screaming, ‘Help, help,’ but there was nothing I could do. There was too much fire,” the second-floor occupant, who gave his name as Samir, said to The Post.
The article said that the Queens’ home was regularly cited by the city for illegally packing in tenants.
One man who left the building a year ago told The Post that he was the former super for the building and once lived there among 30 others.
Saturday’s fire also left four others, including two firefighters, with minor injuries, officials said. The Post reported that one firefighter fell through a floor, but was ultimately able to get to safety.
Onlookers could hear anguished cries. FDNY Chief Thomas Richardson said there were reports of eight people living in the house, which was badly damaged.
“The entire roof collapsed into the third floor,” Richardson said, acc.
Fire marshals are investigating the cause of the blaze.
“The flames were crazy. They were shooting out from the windows and shooting out the back of the house. It eventually broke through the roof,” Fernando Andujar, who lives across the street told The Post. “It spread to the home next door. It was bad. It was a really big inferno.”