Apartment Blaze Kills Brooklyn Family Man

September 19, 2005 -- A Homeland Security customs agent yesterday was killed after a raging fire broke out in the Brooklyn apartment he shared with his wife and young son, police and neighbors said.

Eric Rosado, 38, was pronounced dead at Brookdale Hospital, where he was transported after police officers and firefighters found him shortly after 2:30 a.m. inside the family's apartment at 1325 Pennsylvania Ave. in Starrett City.

Neighbors said Rosado was alone in the apartment when fire erupted in his kitchen, forcing fourth-floor tenants to rush out of the building.

The blaze was apparently contained to Rosado's apartment.

Rosado's wife and son are staying with relatives, according to neighbors.

"He was a good guy, a good family guy," said neighbor Travis Thomas. "I'm shocked."

Neighbors said Rosado worked at Newark Airport as a Department of Homeland Security customs agent. Officials at the agency could not be reached for comment.

Neighbors said he and his family had lived in the apartment for about four years.

Residents in the fourth floor of the building were evacuated as a precaution as thick smoke filled the hallway outside Rosado's apartment.

Frightened neighbors from other floors banged on doors and rushed out into the night.

Several neighbors wept as officials pulled Rosado from the building.

"He's a very quiet, very nice guy," said a neighbor who lives next door. "It's really very sad."

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