2014-04-25 / Front Page

Two Children Dead In Easter Weekend Fire

By Miriam Rosenberg

At a time when rebirth and renewal is celebrated, a Far Rockaway family now mourns for two 4-year-olds who died as a result of a fire late on Easter Eve on Bay 30th Street. And now, as grief takes hold, come reports that there was an apparent delay of 8 minutes in sending an ambulance to the scene.

At 11:51 p.m. on April 19 a 9-1-1 call alerted dispatchers to a fire at 10-31 Bay 30th Street. The call was made after a neighbor saw Delroy Tinglin, 63, run from the house after the fire started in the basement of the home.

Firefighters arrived at the location at 11:56 and confirmed the fire at 11:57, but ambulances not were sent out until 12:05 a.m. The first ambulance arrived at 12:12. On Monday, Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano confirmed there was a time lapse between the confirmation of the fire, and when EMS sent out an ambulance.

“An ambulance should be dispatched at that time [when the fire is confirmed], Cassano said during a press conference. “It wasn’t, and we’re looking at why.”

Photos by Miriam Rosenberg Photos by Miriam Rosenberg According to an FDNY spokesman, the fire started in the basement and was likely started by one of the children playing with a lighter.

Family members said three children, all 4-year-olds, were visiting relatives at the Bayswater house when the fire broke out. Jai’Launi and Aniya Tinglin were overcome by smoke inhalation. The third, Lailuni, twin sister to Jai’Launi, was saved.

On Tuesday, State Senator James Sanders held a press conference with family members in front of the Bay 30th Street home.

“The family is right now doing what the family should do — focusing on a worthy send-off for these children,” Sanders said. “Their first thoughts are to make sure the children are sent to heaven in a manner befitting of them. Another day will come when we will want to know who did what and why.”

That last sentence was referring to the time lapse in sending out an ambulance. Sanders did say that, “A question of justice has arisen.” He added that, “We call for a speedy, impartial, full investigation of this matter.”

Mayor de Blasio called the response of EMS “not acceptable.” He added, “We have to know that each and every time the ambulance will get there as quickly as possible.”

Councilman Donovan Richards added his voice to the call for an investigation by saying, “We will hold those in charge accountable.”

Mark Tinglin, the children’s father, was among several who spoke for the family on Tuesday. “I just want to thank everybody for their support and love,” Tinglin said as he held his 4- year-old daughter Lailuni, who made it out of the burning house. “My kids will be very missed and never forgotten.”

In a Wednesday press release Richards, Sanders and the chair of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee called for a hearing on an improved emergency response system. They also called for the mayor to appoint a permanent FDNY commissioner.

A fund has been set up to help pay for the two funerals. Donations can be sent to the Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation at 1920 Mott Avenue, Far Rockaway, NY, 11691, Attention: Jai’Launi and Aniya Tinglin Fund. Should donations exceed the funeral costs, monies will be set aside as a college fund for their sister Lailuna.

The two funerals will take place on Monday, April 28. Jai’Launi’s will be at 9 a.m. at the Church of the Nazarene in Far Rockaway. Aniya’s will be at 4 p.m. at Mount Carmel Baptist Church on Beach 71st Street.

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