OZONE PARK, Queens (PIX11) — A 93-year-old woman was killed in a fast-moving fire in Ozone Park, Queens, and the fire marshals are looking for the exact cause of the fire.
“It was horrible, a horrible feeling,” Maria Rodriguez, a 67-year-old survivor, told PIX11 News.
Rodriguez was taking a nap in her second-floor apartment on 98th Street and 101st Avenue just after 1:30 p.m. She said she heard a pop pop popping sound and started choking, and knew she was trapped by fire.
“I was trying to dial 911 with half of my body hanging out the window for dear life,” Rodriguez said.
In a dramatic cell phone video, Rodriguez can be seen hanging out the window. Workers from Lucky Deli ran across the street with a ladder to save her, but it was not tall enough.
The FDNY arrived within minutes and were able to pull her from the burning building, and then rescue her beloved pooch, Penny.
“Thank God for the guys at the deli that tried, but their ladder wasn’t long enough,” Jason Ramos, Rodriguez’s son told PIX11 News.
A 93-year-old woman who lived in the front of the building was found unconscious and unresponsive and was pronounced dead at Jamaica Hospital, the NYPD said.
FDNY hazmat teams removed an E-bike from the back of the building. They still do not have an official cause.
Sam Esposito, the head of the Ozone Park Residents Block Association says two years ago neighbors complained about a computer repair shop run by the landlord in the back of the building.
“I don’t know if he went into the E battery business but based on the number of people going into the building it’s possible,” Esposito told PIX11 News.
Rodriguez was released from the hospital and reunited with her family.
“I got my dog I got my husband Family and I’m alive,” Rodriguez said.
“Thank God,” she added.