Brooklyn Fire Deaths Called Homicides

NEW YORK (AP) -- Investigators found illegal gambling machines and traces of a flammable liquid in an apartment building where four people died and at least 10 others were injured in a fast-moving fire early Wednesday.

The deaths have been classified as homicides, medical examiner's spokeswoman Ellen Borakove said.

A teenage girl, a young man and two adults were found dead of smoke inhalation on the third floor, city officials said. Their identities remained unknown Wednesday afternoon, but officials said people who may have known them were expected to try to identify them later in the day.

The gambling machines were in the basement of the building, in a social club where firefighters had responded to a fire in June, officials said.

Fire investigators said they discovered traces of an accelerant in the first floor of the three-story Brooklyn building, which was gutted by Wednesday's fire.

``Everybody was sleeping,'' said Marie Leruis, a longtime tenant. ``My husband shook me to say, `Go outside and see what's going on.' And all I saw was fire.''

Those injured included six firefighters who were treated and released at a hospital. A hospital spokesman would not provide information on the four other people who were hurt.

The fire displaced six families, including 12 adults and four children, officials said.

Related:

Brooklyn Blaze Kills Four

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