Mother Dies In Carleton Manor Blaze
A fire at Rockaway's smallest public housing unit claimed the life of a woman and critically injured her disabled daughter, officials say.
The fire started at 9:45 a.m. on the tenth floor of the 11-story building located at 71- 15 Beach Channel Drive. Fire Department sources say that the blaze quickly became an "all-hands" fire, drawing 78 firefighters in more than a dozen fire companies, who took approximately 30 minutes to put out the flames.
Police sources say that Community Affairs Police Officers Maurice Roper and Kevin Campbell from the 101 Precinct were driving past the public housing complex and noticed the fire coming from the window. The two officers immediately ran up to the apartment, pulling out one of the residents trapped in the burning apartment.
Firefighters then responded and rescued the second unidentified female, who, reports say, suffered third degree burns to her face and body.
Neighbor Fred Barnes told Channel 7 reporter Joe Torres that he believes that Whyms died saving her daughter.
"Her daughter came out first and she was burned in the mid-section," Barnes said. "[The mother] was burned from head to toe. She would never have left her daughter, and she got killed trying to save her life."
Roper and Campbell were taken to Peninsula Hospital Center, where they were treated for smoke inhalation and released.
It is still unclear what started the fire in the back bedroom of the apartment, fire department sources say. Fire marshals are investigating the incident.