Tragedy struck a Queens family early Wednesday morning when a 9-year-old boy died as a fire engulfed their home, police said. Ten other residents suffered injuries.
Firefighters found Remi Miguel Gomez Hernandez while battling a blaze that broke out at about 2 a.m. on Sept. 1 inside a three-story home on 102nd Road off Liberty Avenue in Ozone Park.
According to the Fire Department, the all-hands fire broke out in the basement of the residence. It prompted a response from 60 firefighters from 12 FDNY units, along with EMS and the 102nd Precinct.
Firefighters needed just 34 minutes to bring the blaze under control, but the injury count proved high. Ten residents and a firefighter wound up being rushed to Jamaica Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
But in searching the residence for survivors, firefighters came across the unconscious and unresponsive Hernandez. They pulled him from the residents and brought him to EMS units, who subsequently pronounced him dead at the scene.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the fire in Ozone Park was started by the charging of a battery for an electronic bike and while 14 people were rescued, the 9-year-old boy perished in the blaze.
Nigro was presiding over a promotion ceremony at the FDNY Training Academy on Randall’s Island, which added 36 fire marshals and five supervising fire marshals to the FDNY Bureau of Fire Investigation.
“Our Bureau of Fire Investigation performs some of the most crucial work in the FDNY,” Nigro said. “These newly promoted fire marshals and supervising fire marshals will investigate the cause and origin of fires, while at the same time providing firefighters and the general public with lifesaving information that will help prevent and educate on how to stay safe from fires.”
The Ozone Park blaze was used by Nigro to amplify the importance of the work of fire marshals in educating the public on fire dangers.
He said the proliferation of electronic bikes, and the charging of “aftermarket batteries” have caused the death of three New Yorkers so far this year.
Armed with the information provided by the fire marshals “drives us to put messages on social media, it drives us to get laws changed, it drives us to educate the public,” Nigro said.