JACKSON HEIGHTS, Queens — A fire that tore through a house in Queens early Saturday morning, left an elderly woman suffering from Alzheimer’s and her home health aide in critical condition.
The bedridden victim, Marjorie Idasiak, was with her aide on the first floor of the 3-story house in Jackson Heights, when the fire broke out around 6:15 a.m. They were rushed to New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
The woman’s husband, Henry Idasiak, was on the second floor and escaped unharmed.
“(He was) extremely distraught. He wanted to go to the hospital to be with his wife,” said neighbor Mohammed Afzar.
Tenant Mohammed Abdelnapy, who lives on the top floor with his family, called 911.
“We were sleeping upstairs, and we heard some screaming,” he said. “I opened the door, and I saw the smoke.”
Abdelnapy opened a window in the room where he, his wife and two small children stayed until firefighters came up to get them. They were treated for minor injuries at Elmhurst Hospital.
Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fire which was contained to the first floor of the house at 69-12 31st Avenue.
Sixty firefighters responded to the call, and brought the fire under control in about a half hour.
The Idasiaks, both around 90-years-old, bought the house in 1959.
Neighbors say Mr. Idasiak lovingly cared for his sick wife for years.
“Henry, like two years ago, she was in a coma in a rehab center, and he brought her back to life,” said long time neighbor Inga Kopf.