An 8-year-old boy was killed and five other children were seriously injured when a fast-moving fire broke out in a residential building in the Midwood section of Brooklyn on Wednesday, Fire Department officials said.
More than 20 people were home at the time, including a family that was getting ready to sit down to a dinner celebrating the end of the Jewish holiday Sukkot, fire officials and witnesses said.
The blaze began just after 9:30 p.m. on the top floor of a three-story brick building at 1118 Avenue P, near Coney Island Avenue. More than 130 firefighters responded to the fire, which was brought under control about 11 p.m., officials said.
Friends of the victims said two families lived in the building. One family occupied the basement and lower two floors, and the family of the 8-year-old who died lived on the third floor.
The boy, identified as Avigdor Krasney, apparently became trapped on the third floor, and witnesses said they saw firefighters trying to get him out through the building’s burglar bars. “They broke the glass and cut the gate,” said David Cohen, 16, who lives nearby.
Avigdor was among six children, ranging in age from 1 to 10 years old, who were critically injured in the fire. Avigdor was pronounced dead at Coney Island Hospital about midnight.
Four other children were taken to Staten Island University Hospital’s Burn Center, a fire official said. One child was in serious condition, and three children were in stable condition, he said. Four firefighters also suffered minor injuries.
The cause of the fire, which started on the third floor of the house, also was not known.
Friends said the family that lived downstairs was getting ready to start their holiday meal when they realized the building was burning.
“One of the daughters started yelling, ‘The roof is on fire, the roof is on fire!’ ” said Dov Greenberg, 16, who knows the family.
Esther Sadaka, 13, said she was walking with her grandmother near the building when she began smelling smoke. When she turned from Coney Island Avenue onto Avenue P, she saw flames. “I didn’t know how it was going to end,” she said.