BROOKLYN, N.Y. (WPIX) – One person died and another was seriously injured after falling from the top floor of a New York apartment building while trying to escape a fire Monday afternoon, fire officials said.
The fire happened at a six-story apartment building in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn around 2 p.m., according to the New York City Fire Department.
FDNY Deputy Chief Jim Carney said there was heavy smoke and fire coming from the top floor of the apartment building when firefighters arrived.
Witnesses told Nexstar’s WPIX that they watched two men dangle from the top floor in an attempt to escape the fire before falling to the ground below.
“The guy was yelling, ‘It’s fire here, it’s fire here.’ When I saw the corner of the building, he was hanging out,” said witness Mario Pineda.
Cell phone video shows one of the men trying to keep his grip on the window sill before falling and landing on the grass.
Another man, a 49-year-old, had been hanging out of a side window before landing on the concrete. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead, officials said.
“I turned around and came out. I heard a boom and a window blew out on that side over there,” said Anthony Tillman, who lives in the building. “Then the other guy right here jumped and hit the grass – The other one was trying to hang on for his life. He hung on, and when the fire started hitting that hand of his, he had to let go.”
A third person was also rushed to a hospital with burns.
Firefighters were able to quickly put out the fire and keep it contained to a top-floor apartment, Carney said. No injuries to firefighters were reported.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.