An early morning fire ripped through three homes on East 17th Street in Midwood, sending 13 people to area hospitals.
The fire broke out at approximately 4 a.m. at 1492 E. 17th St., between Avenue N and Avenue O, and spread quickly to the homes on either side. It took approximately three hours for firefighters to bring the fire under control.
Thirteen people were sent to Maimonides Medical Center and New York Community Hospital as of 10 a.m. for fire-related injuries, a number that’s continued to climb since the blaze was extinguished.
In total, nine civilians — residents of the affected homes and neighbors who suffered smoke inhalation — three firefighters and an EMS lieutenant were injured. One of the civilians is in critical condition.
The three homes each contained three units, according to a preliminary report by the Red Cross, who arrived to provide services to the fire’s victims. A woman and her dog were relocated by the organization. Spokesperson Michael De Vulpillieres said that more may need relocation assistance when they are discharged from the hospital.
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Twitter Postings from Someone Who Was Allegedly Abused by One of the Homes’ Owners
The theory we have regarding this fire is self-explanatory.
We have posted the information we have. We do not know if this young man who posted openly about his experiences on Twitter and in the Comments section to another article are one in the same. We also do not know if he/they had anything to do with the fire; or if others were also allegedly harmed by the owner and if one of them took this action.
If setting the house on fire was the result of someone who was allegedly hurt by the owner then it is a moral imperative that we have some level of compassion both for the victims of the fire and for the arsonist.
Whomever set this fire likely did not know the possible ramifications of setting a fire to one home with the expectation that it would only harm the owners of that home, if indeed, it was set by a victim of some other tragedy.
We believe that law enforcement should be obliged to determine not only the cause of the fire but also if the online allegations are true and accurate. We state, for the record, that we cannot know for certain. It is likely that allegations of this nature were never investigated and if they were, they were likely ignored or swept under the carpet, consistent with the status quo.
Finally, we must express our deepest sorrow for those who were injured and for those who were harmed and lost their homes.