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10 tenants, 3 Bravest injured in separate west boro blazes

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A candle used by an Indian family in a Hindu alter ignited a blaze early Monday morning in Sunnyside, gutting one building and injuring 10 family members, fire officials said.The three-alarm fire in Jackson Heights Saturday night caused no civilian injuries, but left 33 people in three buildings temporarily homeless after it spread from roof to roof, officials said.Despite mild temperatures, this winter has proven to be deadly in western Queens where five people died and 38 have been injured since September in residential fires.Firefighters responded at 1:51 a.m. Monday to the fire in the three-story building, which investigators believe may have been started by a candle placed on a Hindu altar, a Fire Department spokesman said.The 10 residents from the building, all from one Indian family, were taken to area hospitals, he said, and one firefighter from among 60 responding was injured.The front windows of the home remained empty Monday afternoon, giving a view of the charred interior, where 10 hours before the family escaped the blaze. The well-kept front yard, only a short distance from a Brooklyn-Queens Expressway access road, was littered with emergency respirators, blankets and surgical gloves.A neighbor, Isidro Almeida, 67, had kind words for the injured family, although he said a language barrier kept him from speaking at length with them."They are good neighbors, they don't bother anybody," he said.He said he saw several victims on the front yard receiving CPR, while three children and their mother stayed briefly in his house to keep out of the rain before being taken to area hospitals.The fire in Jackson Heights Saturday affected more buildings but no civilians were injured. Firefighters responded at 7:17 p.m. to a fire at 37-33 87th St., which was possibly started by workmen using a blowtorch on the roof of the three-story attached brick house, a Fire Department spokesman said. There was no one home at the time, he said.The blaze spread through the cock-loft, the open space under the roof, to 37-31 87th St. and 37-29 87th St., neighbors and the FDNY spokesman said.Two firefighters were injured from among the 138 who responded to the blaze, which was brought under control at about 8:37 p.m., the spokesman said.Mohammed Abdul Hannan Khan, the owner of 37-29 87th St., said he was not home at the time of the fire, and arrived at 11 p.m. to see the devastation."We don't have any house right now," the father of two said, whose wife is pregnant with a third child. Khan, who has lived for three years in his building, was temporarily staying with his family at a friend's house.He was one of 27 adults and six children displaced by the fire, 20 of whom were put up in area hotels, Red Cross spokeswoman Annie Lazar said.Reach reporter Adam Pincus by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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