The blaze was reported Wednesday afternoon in a two-story home in East Elmhurst in Queens. About 100 firefighters responded to the blaze, which was declared under control about an hour and a half later, according to the New York Fire Department.
“Unfortunately it’s a sad afternoon here in East Elmhurst,” said FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “It’s quite unusual at that time in the afternoon to have a fire trap five occupants in a private dwelling.”
“The first call we received came from the occupant of the first floor apartment in that home who heard an alarm going off and called 911,” Nigro said.
Police said an 8-month-old boy and a 42-year-old woman were hospitalized in critical condition. They had escaped the house by the time firefighters arrived, Nigro said.
The other three victims were found inside the burning house. The girl was pronounced dead at the scene and the two adult males, a 30-year-old and a 75-year-old, died at the hospital.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known.