Reports: Former tenant says she reported malfunctioning radiator that killed sisters in 2015
The former tenant who lived in the same unit of a cluster homeless shelter in the Bronx where two young sisters died Wednesday says she reported the malfunctioning radiator to the city in 2015, but that her report went unheard.
Charlene Jackson, 33, told the Daily News her two sons were lucky to be alive after a valve popped off their bedroom heating unit in August 2015 -- spewing scalding water and steam.
Scylee Vayoh Ambrose and Ibanez Ambrose, 1 and 2 years old, were rushed to Lincoln Hospital from 720 Hunts Point Ave. around 12 p.m. Wednesday with burns on their faces and bodies, officials say. The two girls died when a malfunctioning radiator blasted them with scalding steam.
The medical examiner ruled both deaths accidental on Thursday, citing hyperthermia and heat-related injuries from the steam.
"It's not fair," Peter Ambrose, the girls' father says. "The most beautiful kids in the world...dead. The radiator leaked the steam, killed my babies."
Jackson says she reported the malfunction to her caseworker at the Bushwick Economic Development Corp., the nonprofit hired by the city to oversee the apartments.
Neighbors say they heard a loud boom and the parents screaming. The girls lived with their family in one of the building's five units used as a temporary "cluster" shelter by the Department of Homeless Services. The four other families living in the building are being relocated, officials say.
The Bronx District Attorney's Office also says that it will investigate landlord Moshe Piller, who was on the public advocate's list of worst landlords in 2014 and 2015, but not 2016.
The parents have not been charged in the incident, but sources tell News 12 that they have been the subject of six prior child welfare cases in New York and Maine. Police also say the father has been arrested twice, including once last year for allegedly possessing a hypodermic instrument.