Two young brothers were killed in a St. Albans fire Monday night after candles were left unattended in their home, according to authorities.
The fire, at a two-story residence at 188-19 Tioga Dr., broke out around 7:10 p.m. in the living room on the first floor, engulfing the home, the FDNY said. It took about 45 minutes to bring the blaze under control.
Fire officials found a candle melted on the floor near the sofa, where the flames ignited. Witnesses said the family used candles, which were found throughout the home, in prayer ceremonies, according to the FDNY. There were no smoke detectors on the first and second floors of the home. Smoke detectors in the basement failed to go off.
Two boys, Andrew Kavanagh, 6, and John Kavanagh, 11, were discovered on the second floor and taken to Queens Hospital Center, where they died, police said.
From the NY Times:
While the firefighters were bringing the fire under control, a man jumped out of a third-floor attic to escape the flames, fire officials said, adding that he survived the fall. It was not immediately known whether he was related to the brothers. A family of three lived in the first two floors of the home, officials said, and two men lived in the basement.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro had strong words Tuesday for parents who do not have smoke detectors in the house.
"I'm not sure how they look at themselves in the mirror each day," he said. "How dangerous that is, and once again, it's pointed out to us today. No working smoke detectors in the home, unattended candles, the tragic loss of two young children."
Sources say the children were alone in the apartment.
They also say a 33-year-old man who was renting out the attic jumped from a window and suffered minor injuries.
No smoke detectors.
Documented illegal conversion of both the attic and cellar of a 1-family house.
(No media outlet reported this fact.)
2 dead children.