April 4, 2003 -- A young runaway was one of four victims of an arson blaze that destroyed a Brooklyn apartment building where an illegal gambling joint had been set up in the basement, officials said yesterday.
Crystal Lee, 13, who had been reported missing by her relatives days earlier, was the youngest to die in the Flatbush blaze that erupted around 2:50 a.m. Wednesday and swept through all three floors of 2586 Bedford Ave.
Volcy Joseph, 59, Marcel St. Jour, 22 and Roger Prophete, 79, also died in the blaze, which started on the first floor, then spread to the upper levels and the basement, which housed a betting parlor complete with joker-poker video machines and Keno.
Fire and police officials said traces of gasoline were discovered in the first-floor hallway.
The teenage girl had a history of running away, and had been sharing an apartment with St. Jour, who also died in the fire, investigators said.
Ten other people were injured in the quick-spreading fire, including six firefighters. Six families were left homeless.