What to Know
- A house fire in Queens claimed the life of a 16-year-old girl Wednesday night; her mom and a neighbor were badly hurt
- A cause of the fire is under investigation; all three victims were found on the top floor of the three-story home in St. Albans
- Two firefighters were also hurt; authorities say the home was cluttered, which made battling the flames even more challenging
A 16-year-old girl died in a house fire in Queens late Wednesday, and her mother and a neighbor remain hospitalized and fighting for their lives.
It's not clear what started the blaze inside the three-story home on Merrick Boulevard in St. Albans. All three victims were found on the top floor.
The teen killed in the fire, Lamonies Smith, died at NYC Health & Hospital. A 56-year-old woman thought to be her mother is in critical condition at the same hospital and a 76-year-old neighbor is in serious condition at Jamaica Hospital.
Two firefighters were also hurt.
A neighbor who lives across the hall from the apartment where the fire started said he smelled smoke and then heard people screaming.
"I opened the door and saw smoke coming," said Kojo Robotson. "I stayed in my apartment. Everyone ran out, and later the fire department came and escorted me out."
He said he saw a mother and daughter being taken to the hospital with injuries from the fire.
Firefighters on scene reported heavy clutter inside the house, making it difficult to put out the fire. The FDNY faced a similar issue in a high-rise fire in Brooklyn earlier in the day.
The investigation is ongoing.