From the Daily News:
A fast-moving fire ripped through a Bronx brownstone early Monday, killing three people and injuring six, officials said.
The two-alarm fire broke out on the second floor of 2321 Prospect Ave. in Belmont about 3:30 a.m. and quickly spread to the floor above.
Neighbors said they were awakened by the smell of smoke and that flames soon engulfed the building.
Local residents said the three victims were a family of immigrants from Mexico, a mother, father and their 12-year-old son.
Let's take a look at the complaints about this house:
4/14/11: CLR STS AT THE LOCATION GIVEN 3 FLOOR PROPERTY HAS BEEN CONVERTED ILLEGALLY INTO SINGLE ROOMS (complaint never answered)
11/2/09: NO SECONDARY MEANS OF EGRESS FROM ILLEGAL SRO'S ON 1ST AND 2ND FLOORS. IMPROPER ELECTRICAL WIRING THROUGHOUT BUILDING (LS-4 posted, no other action)
10/30/09: 2ND FLOOR ILLEGAL SRO'S THREE 2ND FLOOR ILLEGAL SRO'S WITHNO SECONDARY MEANS OF EGRESS VACATED BY FDNY (LS-4 posted, no other action)
Looks like DOB was on top of this situation...
Here's more from WPIX:
Witnesses also said the blowing flames were blocking the fire escape.
Stephanie Marsh's family owns the other side of the property, 2319 Prospect Avenue. She heard the family on the third floor screaming.
Marsh's husband, Chancey, told PIX 11 News the property attached to his is owned by the Bank of New York. He said the family was squatting in the apartment and paid rent to a "degenerate man" who was renting units and claimed to be the building superintendent.
Residents told PIX 11 News the two-family house may have been illegally subdivided.
Eduardo Sanchez, a tenant on the second floor of 2321, says so-called landlord has not been seen in at least a month and that just last week, the power to his side of the building had been turned off. He's been using a battery-powered lantern in his apartment since then.