Tragedy in a new home: Family of boy killed in Queens blaze had just moved in


OZONE PARK, Queens — A family had lived in their new Queens home for less than 24 hours when tragedy struck; a fire left a 9-year-old boy dead.

The family had moved into the 102nd Road home near 81st Street on Tuesday, neighbors said. Early Wednesday, an electric bike battery started the deadly blaze inside the family’s illegally converted basement apartment.

There was no smoke detector inside, FDNY officials said.

This is the third death from an electric bike battery this year, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

“We’ve had numerous fires, numerous injuries, property damage, all caused by charging these batteries in these bikes,” Nigro said.

Lanesha Hayden, who lives on the first floor of the building, woke up to the fire.

“I just immediately grabbed my daughters and ran out of the house to make sure they would be safe,” she said.

Firefighters helped rescue resident Wilman Malendez. He fought past flames to get to a window. He broke it with a hammer and called for help.

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