Brooklyn Fire Kills Boy, 7, Injures Several Others

The cause has not been determined

By Katherine Creag
|  Monday, Jan 16, 2012  |  Updated 7:04 AM EDT
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A massive fire ripped through an apartment in Brooklyn, killing one child and injuring several people. Katherine Creag reports from Bushwick.

NBC New York

A massive fire ripped through an apartment in Brooklyn, killing one child and injuring several people. Katherine Creag reports from Bushwick.

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A fire in Brooklyn early Sunday killed a 7-year-old boy and sent several others to the hospital with injuries from smoke inhalation.

The fire was reported at 1:22 a.m. Sunday at a building with several apartments on Decatur Street near Bushwick Avenue.

The boy, identified as Joel Smith, was reportedly in a back bedroom of the family's apartment on the first floor. It was dark when the fire broke out, and his father tried to rescue him, according to neighbors.

"The father tried to save him," said a witness, who gave only his first name, Mohammed. "The firefighters tried to save him."

"It was pretty heavy, pretty intense," said neighbor Margaret Mitchell. "The flames coming out of the top of the building -- I'm just heartbroken to hear a child had died in this fire."

"My daughter goes to the same school [as Joel Smith]," said Melissa Acevedo. "It's terrible."

Three other people suffered from smoke inhalation.

The Red Cross said it was assisting four families -- 10 adults and 8 children -- with emergency housing.

Authorities say the cause of the blaze hasn't been determined.

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