Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane D. Williams says he’s “deeply saddened” by a fire in his district early Sunday morning that claimed the life of a Grenadian mother and injured many others, including a firefighter, who was there to save those trapped inside a multi-family home by the inferno.
“My prayers for peace and comfort are with the family and victims,” said Williams, a Grenadian American, who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn.
“As we wait to learn more on the condition of those injured and how this tragic event unfolded, I would like to thank the fire department personnel and police officers for their rapid response on such a cold winter night,” he added.
“More than 100 firefighters were on the scene, and if it weren’t for their fast arrival and heroic actions, the damage may have been much worse,” continued Williams, deputy leader and chair of the City Council’s Housing and Buildings Committee. “My office will be reaching out to ensure those affected by the fire receive all the help they need.”
The two-alarm fire broke out at 3:30 a.m. Sunday in a three-story multi-family home on East 86th Street and Avenue B in Canarsie, Brooklyn.
According to reports, seven people were rescued from the fire.
Grenadian-born Maria Henry, 49, was taken to nearby Brookdale University Hospital for smoke inhalation but was pronounced dead on arrival, police said.
Her Grenadian-born brother, Raphael Henry, 65, a New York City bus mechanic, who ran into his burning apartment to save her from the blaze, was rushed to Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, where he is listed in critical condition.
“I told the family ‘put on your clothes, don’t ask any questions – by the time we got out here – catastrophe,” neighbor Mike Xavier told WABC TV Eyewitness News.
The television station said more than 100 firefighters “zeroed in on #216 where members of the Henry Family were asleep – that is until just after 3 on Sunday morning when a smoke detector on the top floor woke up the victim’s fiance, Ortis Cummings.”
“When I opened the door, all the smoke just came shooting in the bedroom, and I just ran down the stairs,” Cummings said.
Maria Henry had lived in the ground floor of the building and ended up dying in the fire.
“Her teenaged daughter’s world simply fell apart,” WABC TV said.
It said firefighters were able to pull Raphael out of the smoke-filled building; he was unconscious and rushed to the hospital.
Raphael’s son, Raymond, said his dad, who owns an auto body shop in the area, first migrated from Grenada then the rest of the family followed.