Home > Article from newspaper > Woman Dies and 5 Are Hurt in Bronx Blaze

Woman Dies and 5 Are Hurt in Bronx Blaze

September 11, 2007


Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times

A house on East 224th Street in the Bronx where a fire on Monday killed a resident and hurt two others and three firefighters. It took more than 100 firefighters to bring the blaze under control.


A 22-year-old woman who neighbors said was hearing-impaired died early yesterday after a fire tore through a two-story house in the Bronx where she had been staying, the authorities said.

The woman, Eileen Harkins, was pronounced dead by rescue workers at the residence at 643 East 224th Street, near the Bronx River Parkway, said Detective Joseph Cavitolo, a police spokesman.

Officials said it was unclear whether Ms. Harkins would have been able to escape had she not been hearing-impaired.

Two other residents were taken to Jacobi Medical Center and were in serious condition, a Fire Department spokesman said. One of them was pulled from the house by firefighters, he said. There were other people in the house who escaped unharmed, but officials and neighbors did not know how many. Three firefighters were treated at Jacobi for minor injuries and released.

The fire in the house, a wood structure, broke out just after midnight, Detective Cavitolo said. It took less than an hour for more than 100 firefighters from 25 units to bring the blaze under control, according to fire officials.

The cause was under investigation, the officials said. The fire gutted the house and caused minor damage to another home.

Alhadji Muhammad Ali-Cisse, 52, a neighbor, said he awoke to the smell of smoke and ran next door into the first floor of the house. He said that he asked the fleeing residents if there was anyone else inside and that they told him Ms. Harkins was on the second floor.

Mr. Ali-Cisse said he ran to the second floor and pounded on the locked door, but got no answer. Smoke and heat drove him back outside.

Mr. Ali-Cisse said he was told later by other residents in the building that Ms. Harkins was hearing-impaired.

Nelson Mandela, 35, a superintendent in a building next door, said Ms. Harkins had lived in the residence for only a few weeks. She had been staying with her boyfriend and had been rarely seen around the neighborhood, he said.


  1. Audace
    September 14, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    This is a tragic situation, I wish that there was a strobe fire system installed that could have notified her about the fire. Somethign must be done and services must be made available to this COMMUNITY!!! Can you imagine how many Deaf individuals are living without these accomidations? This is what Human services is all about…..

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