FDNY Crews Rescue Family From Apartment Fire

A fire sparked by a pizza box left in an oven gutted a Bronx apartment building early Saturday and left three children and their dad critically injured.


A hellish blaze sparked by a pizza box left in an oven gutted a Bronx apartment building early Saturday and left three children and their dad critically injured, sources said.

The Fordham Manor apartment on East 191st Street did not have working fire detectors when the inferno broke out at 3 a.m., a source said. The FDNY is investigating.

With her face blackened by soot, Amanda Khan, 22, sobbed as she rushed out of her burning sixth-floor unit with her 3-month-old son, David Figueroa, cradled in her arms.

“Somebody help me. My kids are burning inside,” she wailed in front of the building near Morris Avenue, a neighbor said. “I saw them burning. Help! Help!”

The kitchen fire — which sources said was ignited by a pizza box in the oven — woke Khan and her husband, Jose Figueroa, 28.

Figueroa handed David to Khan and told her to run while he saved their daughters — Genesis, 2, and Jada, 3 — who were asleep in a second bedroom.

“It was chaos outside. It was like a nightmare. I started crying,” said neighbor Mercedes Mors, 30.

“We didn’t know what to do,” she added. “The baby looked dead. He wasn’t moving.”

When firefighters arrived, building residents — some dressed in pajamas, others without shoes or in just their underwear — shouted, “There are kids upstairs!”

FDNY Lt. William Kearns, of Ladder Co. 56, said the flames were so hot the building’s bricks were exploding.

The firefighters found Figueroa and his two daughters unconscious in their burning apartment.

They took him down on a stretcher and carried the two girls out of the building.

“His left side in the upper arm area was burned,” witness Frances Rivera, 23, said of Figueroa.

“You do what you do for your kids by any means necessary. He was a father trying to save his kids.”

The infant was listed in critical but stable condition last night at Jacobi Medical Center.

Genesis and Jada were also in critical condition.

Their father suffered severe burns that left him in grave condition.

Rivera visited the family at the hospital and said the kids were doing better, but Figueroa “is just in really bad condition.”

The building’s landlord, Ved Parkash, of Queens, has been fighting allegations that he is a slumlord for more than two decades.

He could not be reached for comment.

Republished with permission of The New York Post