By Bill Parry
A 39-year old man was discovered dead in the attic of a Corona home Saturday, one day after a two-alarm blaze destroyed the home Friday morning, police said.
A partial stairway collapse prevented firefighters from accessing the top-floor dwelling, according to the FDNY.
Relatives of the man, whose name is being withheld pending family notification, arrived at the 110th Precinct to report a family member was still missing after the blaze. FDNY personnel then re-entered the building, located at 40-46 Case St., and found an unconscious and unresponsive man inside the location, police said. EMS responded and pronounced the victim dead on arrival at the scene.
No arrests had been made and the investigation was ongoing, according to the NYPD.
“My heart goes out to the family of the man discovered in the attic of the Case Street home that caught on fire Friday morning,” City Councilman Francisco Moya (D-Jackson Heights) said. “Friends of the victim described him as a Bangladeshi man who was working toward a college degree — which is to say this is a tragic end to the life of a man who, like so many other immigrants, came to this country is nsearch of the American Dream.”
Four civilians and seven firefighters were treated for injuries at the fire, according to the FDNY. Three civilians were listed in serious condition, while one is in critical condition, the FDNY said. All were moved to Elmhurst Hospital while the seven firefighters were treated with non-life-threatening injuries.
“I hope, too, for the swift recovery to the other residents and emergency responders injured in the fire,” Moya said.
Fire marshals said the fire was attributed to unattended candles.
“Details are still coming in but it’s clear that we need to know more about how this incident occurred and how to prevent a repeat in the future,” Moya said. “The (city) Department of Buildings said this two-family home was illegally converted to add several apartment, which created dangerous conditions for the residents and firefighters. Similar illegal conversions are common practice in Corona and Elmhurst. This tragedy might have been prevented if we had stronger laws on the books for absentee and negligent landlords.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr