Breaking update: The deadly Crown Heights fire was caused by a lithium-ion battery, FDNY fire marshals determined. For the latest updates on this story, click here.
Original story —
NEW YORK (PIX11) – A fire in Crown Heights killed a family of three, and another fire in Little Italy left nine firefighters injured over the weekend.
The West family, including 81-year-old grandmother Albertha, her 58-year-old son Michael and 33-year-old grandson Jamiyl were pulled out of their Albany Avenue home by firefighters around 5 a.m. They were all later pronounced dead.
The fire also spread to adjoining homes, and families were forced into the street around 5 a.m. to escape the fire. The FDNY said 14 people were injured, including one firefighter who suffered from serious injuries.
A six-story building in Little Italy with over 40 people living in it also went up in flames. Nine firefighters were injured while fighting the flames, according to the FDNY.
Workers at a nearby restaurant, Casa Bella, were hailed as heroes for noticing the fire.
“It could have been a lot worse if people got hurt,” Casa Bella’s owner told PIX11 News. “I have to commend the workers of Casa Bella, especially this man who smelled smoke.”
Fire marshals are investigating the causes of the two fires.