Bushwick apartment fire

WCBS 880

2 Little Girls Killed In Brooklyn Apartment Fire

December 09, 2018 - 11:51 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Two young girls were pulled from a burning apartment building alive but later died at a hospital in an overnight tragedy in Brooklyn, authorities say.

Only a burned out shell of the building remained Sunday morning, with broken glass, burned bricks and piles of rubble guarded by a lone police car. An orange, stuffed tiger hung on a broken window – a devastating reminder of what took place the night before.

The fire broke out at a three-story building on Schaefer Street in Bushwick around 11 p.m. Saturday, police said.

Video posted online shows flames pouring out of the building as firefighters respond. 

Two girls, 7-year-old Payton Gomez and 9-year-old Haley Harris, were brought out of a second-floor apartment, according to police.

A nearby bodega worker told WCBS 880’s Mike Sugerman that his coworker saw the girls being taken out of the building.

“When they came out, they were not really conscious,” he said.

Brooklyn apartment fire
WCBS 880

EMS rushed the girls to Wyckoff Hospital by ambulance, but they did not survive.

A 53-year-old man who was removed from the building was also taken to Wyckoff Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.

The NYC Fire Marshall will investigate what caused the fire as the Medical Examiner’s Office works to determine how the children died.

David, at the bodega, said he believes faulty wiring may be to blame. He said the buildings are 80 or 90 years old.

“A lot of these old buildings, they have old wiring, old electrical wiring,” he said. “If they don’t bring them up to code, a lot of these situations do happen.”

Although the cause of the fire isn’t yet known, another neighbor and former firefighter named Christian said everyone should make sure they have working batteries in their smoke detectors.

“The moral of the story is that people use and keep the batteries up to date on their smoke detectors. That will save your life,” he said.