Serious Injuries in Bronx Fire: Several Hurt as Crews Race to Scene

A fire broke out, and got worse as crews responded. Some of those responding to the blaze hit several pedestrians with a fire truck.


Images from the Story Video:See the Story (Parkchester-WABC, December 30, 2003) - On Tuesday, two people were killed in the Parkchester section -- when a fire that's being called suspicious broke out inside a home on Glover Street. What made matters worse: a fire engine rushing to the scene collided with two other vehicles. A neighbor tells Eyewitness News that a fire truck was on the scene just a month ago because gasoline had been poured on the steps inside the house. However, no definite link has been made between the two incidents. But fire officials will probably be looking into it anyway. Leticia Torres, Neighbor: "I grabbed my two children. I grabbed my dog. I knocked on the door and ran out into the street with her." At 6:30 on Tuesday morning, flames raced through the 3-story apartment house on Glover Avenue in the Bronx. The fire charred much of the interior in less than 45 minutes. Dep. Chief James Jackson, F.D.N.Y.: "We knocked down the fire and, subsequently, five victims were removed from the building who are currently in Jacobi Hospital." Lisa Martinez, Neighbor: "It happened so fast. The glass was busted and the fire started coming out all over the house." More than 80 firefighters responded to the two-alarm fire. Ten people had to be rushed to area hospitals, including one fire officer who was suffering from exhaustion. At least one person jumped from a second story window to escape the flames. Mohammed Hamid, Neighbor: "I see one lady jumped down and cried out that she had broken her leg." Clarita Lopez, Neighbor: "I heard the screaming. And I told my husband, 'Somebody is screaming!' When I looked outside, I saw a guy and girl just huddled over. Then, I knew it was fire." To make matters worse, one of the 30 fire units responding to the scene got into an accident with two civilian vehicles. Ten people were hurt, including six firefighters and four civilians. One of the four has serious injuries, but is expected to survive. In all, 20 people had to be rushed to area hospitals -- some from the fire scene and some from the accident. Two people were dead on arrival at the fire scene -- including a 40-year-old man. Three were in critical condition -- including 2 and 15-year-old boys and one adult. Of the 10 hurt at the accident, only one was seriously injured. Normally, extreme cold can be blamed for deadly fires. But it's nowhere to be found, as another fire claims a life in Harlem. This blaze came in the 200 block of 139th Street -- just before 9:00 Tuesday morning. The victim, 60 year old Shirley Hargrove, was trapped inside her apartment and died. No one else was hurt. Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the fire.