Authorities: Mother, 2 daughters killed in Gates Avenue apartment fire
Authorities have released new details about a fatal fire, including the identities of the mother and two daughters who were killed.
Fire officials say 9-year-old Keslee Miles, 11-year-old Journee and 48-year-old Danielle Havens died following a fire that appears to have been caused by "cooking carelessness."
They added that smoke detectors did not appear to be present in the home at the time of the fire.
The FDNY says the fire began just before dawn on the third floor of the four-story building. When crews responded to the scene at 5 a.m., they found heavy smoke and fire coming from the apartment.
Authorities say several residents, including children, managed to escape in time.
A witness from across the street tells News 12 he was shocked by the fire.
“I came upstairs, and there was the fire. There were two long ladders up on the building and the fire department was inside trying to get everybody. A lot of smoke,” he said.
The family’s next-door neighbor, who got out of the building safely, is also shocked by the devastation inflicted by the fire.
"The two little girls were so happy, so you could tell they were loved,” she said. “She loved those kids. She was beautiful. She didn't need to die."
Authorities say the fire started in the kitchen of the family’s third-floor apartment. However, an investigation is underway to determine the exact cause.
The victims have not been identified, pending family notification.
During a news conference, fire officials said the building sustained some water damage.
Mayor Eric Adams tweeted a thank you to the FDNY for their work and expressed condolences to the victim’s family.