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A fire broke out at 12:38 a.m on Wednesday in a three story apartment building on Flatbush Avenue near Farragut Road, according to FDNY officials.
Officials have also reported that the fire originated on the second floor of the building and swept anything in its way up to the third floor.
FDNY managed to confine it between the two floors and place it under control at 1:55 a.m. The top floors consist of apartments, while the ground floor houses a store-front church named Eglise Baptiste Clarte Celeste. According to the police, fifteen people were injured, and one man is dead. The man’s identity is still uncertain, but he seems to be in his early 20’s. Officials stated that he was rushed to Brooklyn Community Hospital where he died a short time later.
The authorities reported 6 of the 15 people were in critical condition. Another individual had serious injuries, but he will survive. Eight others suffered minor injuries. All were taken to hospital.
“They rescued about 5 or 6 people, they’re working on someone right down the street they were doing CPR. It was horrifying. People were running out of the building screaming,” a witness said.
“I smelled the smoke and then I heard a loud explosion and saw the fire,” said another witness, living in the neighborhood.
The fire took the tenants by surprise. Many of them are still shocked. Anita Williams, one of the tenants in a neighboring building told reporters that she had seen firefighters rescuing victims by taking them out the window during the blaze. Another witness living on the second floor told reporters that he had been waken up by his daughter’s screams. When he couldn’t find a way out of the building he could hear firefighters shouting. Many residents had trouble evacuating the building because of the dense smoke.
“It was horrifying,” said one woman who looked on from her apartment across the street.
Anita Williams, a witness living in a neighboring building, said she was woken up by the desperate screams coming from the burning building. She instantly got out of her bed and run out onto the street.
“Everybody was screaming, “Fire! Fire!” Then I saw the flames and I thought it was in our building,” said Anita.
The causes of the fire are still unclear.