Michelle Kim

Flaming Man Dies in NYC Courtyard After Apartment Blaze

A man who fled a fiery building, himself engulfed in flames, died in a courtyard and another man was badly hurt when a blaze broke out in a Queens apartment Tuesday, authorities and witnesses say.

Ramon Rahim, 59, died from burns in the fire that broke out in his second-floor apartment on 66th Avenue in Forest Hills before 11 a.m., police say. His 30-year-old nephew, who leaped from the second floor to escape the flames, was taken to New York Queens Hospital with burns to his face and arms. 

A cause of the fire is under investigation, though it does not appear to be suspicious, according to the FDNY. 

Neighbors said Rahim, who was known as "Junior," was still on fire when he came outside.

"He was on fire on the ground, right in front of the door," said Bobby Li. "I took off my shirt and I was trying to put it out because his shirt was still on fire." 

Neighbor Jacob Rodiquez said he ran out with a pitcher of water and poured it on him. But Rahim did not survive.

"I wish I was able to help sooner," said Li. 

The man who jumped out the window is hospitalized in stable condition.

It wasn't clear if the two men lived in the same apartment. Authorities are looking into a cause of the fire, but FDNY Deputy Chief Steven Kubler says, "there is nothing suspicious, no odors of gas."

Neighbors and family said Rahim was a heavy smoker. 

"I don't know what happened that he went upstairs," said cousin Jane Adams. "They said the mattress caught fire." 

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