A fire destroyed a St. Albans storefront church and left four residents and as many as 10 firefighters injured Saturday morning.
The fire broke out at about 10 a.m., gutting the Scriptural Baptist Church at 189-27 Linden Blvd. before more than 100 firefighters quickly responded and extinguished the blaze, which forced several residents out of top-floor apartments.
One elderly woman almost died of smoke inhalation during the conflagration, according to NYPD Deputy Chief James DiDomenico.
Firemen Al Schmidt and Rob Derrig entered through a rear window on the building’s second floor and found the woman, who was on the verge of death, and brought her to safety. She was taken to the hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, DiDomenico said.
“With the [carbon monoxide] she was taking in, if we had been a minute or two later, she might be no longer alive,” he said.
The cause of the fire was under investigation Saturday, but officials did not suspect foul play.
Nickoy Brown, 25, and his mother, Janet, escaped from the fire after Nickoy saw smoke seeping through the floor while cooking breakfast and woke his mother up.
He threw a suitcase full of important documents of his mother’s out their second-floor window above the fire and jumped down to safety, sustaining no injuries in the process. His mother took the stairs to safety and the two stood staring at the building Saturday morning, wondering what their next step would be.
“There was a lot of smoke, most of the smoke came out of the front right here, and there were flames,” said Nickoy, who works at John F. Kennedy International Airport, pointing to their window. “A lot of stuff going through my mind right now. I don’t know where to turn right now. For the Fourth [of July] I don’t have any plans, just to have a relaxing weekend. That’s going to be messed up. Hopefully, I can get to my stuff.”
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cn
©2010 Community News Group
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