UPDATED 3:55 PM PT – Saturday, December 19, 2020
An abandoned home fire in Queens left at least three people dead and four people injured, including two firefighters.
On Saturday, the blaze erupted in the Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens. According to reports, the three-floor structure was thought to be abandoned, but several squatters were actually living inside.
Emergency services quickly responded and arrived to find the structure engulfed in flames.
FDNY Chief of Operations Thomas J. Richardson provides an update from the scene of this morning’s fatal 3-alarm fire at 90-31 48th Avenue in Queens. Read more: https://t.co/sIFK6kgC3a pic.twitter.com/e9bsKyexgA
— FDNY (@FDNY) December 19, 2020
A survivor from the incident, who wished to remain anonymous, said he managed to escape through the basement.
“I grabbed what I can, boots, because I was sleeping,” the survivor stated. “Once I opened the door, I saw the flames shooting from the basement up. So, if it wasn’t for the basement door creating a barrier, I probably wouldn’t have made it out.”
It took around two hours to contain the blaze, which officials believe started on the ground floor. However, the cause remains under investigation.
In the meantime, those wounded are said to have suffered non-life-threatening injuries.