Nighttime Fire Kills Couple
A married couple - who were reportedly preparing to spend their Golden Years in Florida - died Wednesday after an early morning electrical fire raged in their Far Rockaway home, filling it with deadly smoke and flames.
Gloria and Joseph Ghent, Guyanese immigrants in their 60s, were trapped inside their home at 312 Beach 12 Street by the two-alarm blaze, which was reported shortly after 3 a.m. Sources said the fire was sparked by a short circuit or a faulty boiler in the basement.
Joseph, who had recently suffered a stroke and had limited mobility, was pronounced dead at the scene; Gloria was barely clinging to life when firefighters rescued her. She had suffered major smoke inhalation and was pronounced dead a short time later at St. John's Hospital.
The couple, Far Rockaway residents for more than 20 years, had purchased a second home in Orlando, Florida, according to a report in the Daily News.
Neighbors remembered the Ghents as a loving couple, who were devoted to their 45-year marriage and to religion.
Funeral arrangements were unclear at press time.
Three firefighters suffered injuries as they battled the blaze, which took about 90 minutes to bring under control.