The Haitian Times Staff
FLATBUSH – A massive wind-fueled blaze that burned an apartment building Feb. 19, also ended a woman’s life and left more than 100 residents homeless.
“It was very scary, we’re out alive and safe,” said Ginette Antoine, a building resident.
Antoine was living on the 6th floor apartment and used the fire escape to save her life and her son Garry Antoine Saturday night.
The fire in the Flatbush neighborhood started on Apt 4A just before 7 PM fanned by wind gusts of more than 50 mph. The out of control blaze quickly took over all of the upper floors of the building at 346 East 29th street and Avenue D in Flatbush.
At 6:41 p.m. Saturday, the first call came in with reports of flames in the back of the building.
By 8:43 p.m., the fire had reached a 5th alarm and 200 firefighters were on scene.
It wasn’t until 1:58 a.m. Sunday that officials ruled the fire was under control but by then the damage was done.
A third -floor resident, who lives with his wife and four children, told the Haitian Times that he was on his way from work when he received the call from his wife that the building was on fire.
“ I ask her to run with kids, said Patrick Louis. “ Thank God they are all alive, but we lost everything .”
More than 20 firefighters were injured as they battled for seven hours to extinguish the fire officials said Sunday.
Nearly a dozen residents were injured and 64-year-old Mary Feagin, who lived alone in a top floor apartment where the roof collapsed, was found dead.
“Everything is lost, all my documents, my furniture, everything, everything,” said a crying Allona Berstol, a building resident.
Some residents of the 70-apartment building ran into the cold in their bare feet, braving the wind and chill.
A shelter for displaced residents was set up at a nearby school. Some are staying in a third Ave Hotel in Brooklyn.
Investigators were looking into causes for the fire.
The blaze started in a fourth-floor apartment where an alledged houngan priest known as Nelson ‘Pepe’ lived. He has been injured and hospitalized.