BROOKLYN, N.Y. (PIX11) — A Brooklyn fire that has claimed the lives of three people, including a 10-year-old girl, was ruled accidental on Thursday — several days after officials said it looked like an arson, according to officials.
The blaze broke out in the three-story brick home at 136 Fountain Ave. in East New York on Tuesday, according to the FDNY. An accelerant was found in a doorway in the hall, prompting an arson investigation, police said.
However, the investigation revealed the fire broke out while the father of the household was filling vape pens, and the liquid accidentally caught on fire, officials said.
A 36-year-old pregnant woman died at the scene, and a 17-year-old girl died at the hospital, police said. Two other girls, ages 14 and 10, and a 9-year-old boy were rushed to the hospital in critical condition, police said. The 10-year-old later succumbed to her injuries, officials said.
The victims are family members who occupied two floors of the building, according to the landlord. Neighbors said a relative of the family owned a deli on Liberty Avenue, down the block from their home.
“They are very community oriented. They help out the community. They own this store. It’s surprising to me. I would never know of anyone who would want to harm them,” said neighbor Vanessa Dudley Tucker.