An early morning house fire killed a 68-year-old landlord and displaced nearly a dozen people in Queens early Sunday, police said.
Mohinvei Singh was found in the basement of the home on 97th Avenue in Jamaica after the fire was extinguished, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Harish Kumarti was sleeping in the attic of the three-story home when she smelled smoke and saw sparks flying from an electrical pole outside.
"We just ran," Kumarti said. "I saw smoke, it was all smokey."
Witnesses said Singh and his wife were landlords who also lived at the home. His wife was helping the tenants evacuate but wasn't able to find her husband.
"She was trying to look where he is, but they couldn't find him because there was so much smoke inside," Kumarti said.
Singh never made it out of the basement; tenants said he had a heart condition. The Medical Examiner will determine his cause of death.
Neighbors say Singh was a taxi driver who came to the U.S. from India. They said they were praying for his family.
The Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the blaze.