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Separate fires claim four Queens residents

By Juan Soto

Four borough residents lost their lives in two deadly fires that occurred within a week, authorities said.

In the last incident, a 64-year-old man was killed Monday morning when a fire ripped through his home in Baisley Park, police said.

About 60 firefighters battled the blaze that broke out in a two-story frame house located near the intersection of 168th Street and 118th Road, a spokesman for the FDNY said.

The fatal fire started at about 3:39 a.m. and it was declared under control at 5:12 a.m., the FDNY said.

The NYPD said the victim was rushed to Queens Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Tyrell Foster, escaped the flames but ran back into the house to save his 89-year-old mother, who had already fled the fire, the New York Post reported.

Authorities said she was taken to Franklin General Hospital, where she was listed in stable condition.

The NYPD noted a third person was injured in the fire but refused medical attention.

The FDNY said the South Jamaica fire was “accidental” and that electrical extension cords are to blame for the blaze.

Five days earlier, three members of a Haitian family died when a fire broke out in their Corona apartment as they were preparing a traditional meal to celebrate New Year’s Eve, authorities said.

Fire officials were investigating the cause of the blaze, but it appears the flames were caused by an unattended soup on a stove.

A FDNY spokesman said the fire broke out on the ninth floor of an 18-story building in LeFrak City just minutes before the Times Square ball dropped welcoming 2015. It was declared under control at 1:07 a.m, said the FDNY.

More than 100 firefighters responded to the scene of the fire. According to the FDNY, one of the firefighters suffered minor injuries, while seven civilians sustained non-life threatening injuries.

Killed in the blaze, police said, were Louise Jean-Charles, 59; her husband Napoleon Michel, 69; and cousin Nadia Donnay, 37.

Jean-Charles, Napoleon and Donnay were taken to area hospitals, where they were pronounced dead.

City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) said there was no working smoke detector in the apartment where the blaze broke out.

“It is beyond tragic to have lost this family because they did not have something as basic as a smoke alarm in their home,” Ferreras said. “They were preparing for a New Year’s gathering and should have been alive to see 2015.”

In a statement, LeFrak said, “Our deepest condolences go out to the families of those affected. We are working with the fire marshal to determine the cause of this incident.”

The statement added that the building had no fire code violations and that the apartment where the blaze broke out “was outfitted with smoke detectors as required by law. A smoke detector rider attesting to the presence of this life safety equipment was signed and initialed by the tenant in 2012.”

Ferreras said that in the coming weeks, she will arrange fire prevention education program for the complex’s tenants in collaboration with LeFrak management.

Reach reporter Juan Soto by e-mail at jsoto‌@cngl‌ocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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