House Fire Kills 5, Including 4 Children, in New York City: 'The Loss is Horrendous'
Victims of the Queens fire ranged in age from 2 to 20.
Unthinkable tragedy struck a New York City neighborhood over the weekend when a fire left five dead, including four juveniles.
The fast-moving blaze ripped through a Queens home Sunday afternoon, trapping victims ages 2 to 20 inside despite the heroic efforts of the New York Fire Department.
"Our members arrived at just four minutes and met with a house completely consumed by fire," FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. "They valiantly pushed behind the hose line and unfortunately, they recovered all of the people from there."
Fire officials said a person driving by spotted flames and called 911.
"Bunch of fire, smoke, people running around,” one witness told WCBS. Another said: "It was something like in the house, like either exploding or breaking or just blowing up or something."
Neighbors reportedly watched in horror as the badly burned bodies of children were carried out of the home.
Chayce Green had just turned 2 when he perished in the blaze while his grandfather, 46-year-old Maurice Matthews, survived.
Matthews' 10-year-old son, Rashawn Matthews, died as did their 16-year-old relative, Jada. A 17-year-old girl and a 20-year-old woman were also killed, police said.
The tragedy left the New York City community so shaken that Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed the fire Sunday.
“It was a fire that moved very, very quickly, and the loss was horrendous,” de Blasio said. "This is the devastation of a family... There’s a lot we need to know about what happened here."
One witness described something "either exploding or breaking or just blowing up" prior to the blaze.
However, the cause of the blaze remains under investigation.
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