Video shows rapid spread of devastating Brooklyn fire that left at least 13 injured
This is the moment an apparently suspicious blaze lit up a Brooklyn block before dawn Thursday, quickly escalating into a four-alarm inferno that spread to two neighboring buildings and injured at least 13 people — including an infant who is clinging to life.
A surveillance video clip provided by a neighbor shows the flames suddenly erupting at 1488 E. 17th St. between Avenue N and Avenue O in Midwood just after 4 a.m. A person can then be seen running away from the scene, the video shows.
An emergency management official on scene, as well as another source, told the Post the blaze appears to be suspicious, possibly an arson.
A 6-week-old boy, who was inside the main building, is in critical condition, suffering from smoke inhalation with difficulty breathing, sources said. He was taken to Maimonides Medical Center.
“Upon arrival, [firefighters] had fire in the original building and they also had fire spreading through both of the exposures on either side,” FDNY Chief of Operations Thomas Richardson said at a morning press conference. “Initially they did make an interior attack into the main fire building, but they quickly had to evacuate that building and we concentrated our efforts on the two exposures.”
The roof and top floor of the building where the fire initially broke out largely collapsed, and part of the roof of the building to the right also crumbled, Richardson said. The roof of the building to the left also experienced a “minor collapse,” he added.
Four other people were hospitalized, including three adults and a firefighter, Chief Lillian Bonsignore, chief of EMS operations, said at the press conference.
One of the smoke inhalation injuries was not from the main home but from a neighboring home, Bonsignore added.
All are listed in stable condition.
All of the people who were inside the main home at the time the fire broke out have been accounted for, Richardson said. The occupants of all of the buildings self-evacuated, he said.
Forty fire units and 25 EMS units responded, with 170 firefighters working the scene, according to Richardson.
The cause of the blaze was not immediately known.
“It was very scary,” said a neighbor who lives down the block and did not want to be identified. “This kind of thing doesn’t happen here.”
“It’s a terrible thing,” added another neighbor. “This is a very nice neighborhood….I woke up at 4 o’clock. There were about a million firetrucks flashing their lights. I didn’t know what to think. But I knew something was unusual.”
Additional reporting by Mark Suleymanov and Amanda Woods
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