Sections

Two perish in Midwood blaze

Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Two men were killed when their attempts to turn a Flatbush garage into a heated shelter turned horribly awry, officials said. Police believed that the still unidentified victims perished when the papers and rubbish they had lit to keep warm set the garage on fire. Firefighters responded to the garage, which is attached to the basement of a home on the 1600 block of East 21st Street, near Avenue P, at 5:40 p.m. on January 19 and put the blaze out within minutes. The fire, however, had already taken the victims’ lives. Autopsies were pending as this paper went to press. Officials described the two men as white, possibly Russian males, in their mid-forties to mid-fifties “without permanent addresses.” Police officials said that the victims “were using the [garage] as a shelter from the elements.” Sources from the 70th Precinct were hesitant to call the two men homeless, since they hadn’t been identified by Monday afternoon. “If they were homeless, they were traveling light,” said one source close to the case. “The garage was empty. All that was there was a little bit of rubbish they used to start a fire and a few bottles of beer. There was nothing in the garage that belonged to them. There was no evidence that they were planning to stay there for the night.” Witnesses said that the man who owned the East 21st Street building, who neighbors identified as a doctor, was not at home when the fire broke out. A neighbor told The New York Post that she had seen at least one of the men hanging out in the garage a few days before the fire. Residents said at least one of the men had slept in the garage for the past few days as the weather grew colder. “He was burning leaves to keep himself warm,” the neighbor described. “My mom talked to him because he was Russian -- and he told her he wanted to die.”

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

CNG: Community Newspaper Group