Brooklyn Fire Caused by Cigarette: Police

One of the occupants jumped out a window to try to escape the fire.

Saturday, Nov 26, 2011  |  Updated 5:48 PM EDT
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BK Fire Caused by Cigarette: Police

NBC New York

Five people were injured in a fire in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn.

Five people have been taken to the hospital with varying degrees of burns, smoke inhalation and other injuries after a noontime house fire on Thanksgiving in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn.

One of the victims was an infant about six to eight months old who went into cardiac arrest, authorities said.

Police now say the fire was started by a cigarette left on a mattress in the apartment.

About 10 fire units and 50 firefighters responded to the fire at 615 President St., a three-story brownstone, according to deputy assistant chief Joe Woznica. They were able to knock out the fire on the top floor within five minutes, but all five occupants of the apartment had injuries.

Two adult twin sisters lived in the apartment with their boyfriends, along with one of the women's infant child, according to neighbors and officials.

One of the men escaped the apartment on his own, smashing through a streetside window, and jumping onto a lower-floor awning, then to the ground to get out of the apartment.

He was bleeding with cuts from the broken window, said neighbors.

"The window was busted," said neighbor Elaine Evelyn. "He looked like he was going to throw himself out the window."

"Eventually he climbed over to the awning, and he sat there screaming, 'The baby, the baby, help, help,'" said Evelyn. "And when I looked, I saw smoke -- clear white smoke coming out of the window he came out of."

Responding firefighters found the other victims in the front room of the top floor. The infant and the other man who lived there were in cardiac arrest, Woznica said.

They were able to be revived on the scene, but were taken to Methodist Hospital in critical condition.

Two others were taken to Cornell with severe burns. One other victim was taken to Kings County Hospital with burns and smoke inhalation.

The roof was left charred and ripped out after the blaze was extinguished.

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