3 children among 5 killed in NY fire
NEW YORK - A family of five, including three children, died in a blaze yesterday that filled an apartment with thick smoke and kept the victims from escaping through the front door, fire officials said.
A 10-year-old boy was in critical condition after the fire in a public housing complex in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. The boy was found with two other family members in a back bedroom, while the rest of the family sought refuge in a full bathtub and underneath a bathroom sink, officials said.
The cause of the fire, which began in the kitchen of the sixth-floor apartment, was under investigation. But the Fire Department said the apartment's smoke detector had been unplugged and the battery removed.
The smoke detector was inspected six months ago and was working, the New York City Housing Authority said.
Killed were a 40-year-old man, Maschay Joa Valdez; Delkis Balbuena, a 34-year-old woman; and three girls, Nanny Joa Balbuena, 8, Bet-El Joa Balbuena, 3, and Ruth Joa Balbuena, 15 months. The 10-year-old boy was not identified.