Mother and daughter among victims of deadly Mount Eden apartment fire

The Mount Eden community is mourning the loss of four women after a massive fire at an apartment building Tuesday evening.

News 12 Staff

Apr 1, 2020, 9:44 AM

Updated 1,574 days ago

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The Mount Eden community is mourning the loss of four women after a massive fire at an apartment building Tuesday evening.
FDNY crews responded to the fire at 1560 Grand Concourse around 7:15 p.m.
According to officials, the fire broke out on the sixth floor. The city’s Department of Housing and Preservation has a number of recent violations listed on its website for the address, including missing smoke detectors.
 
The deadly fire claimed the lives of four women, who neighbors tell News 12 are two mother and daughter pairs.
One woman has been identified by family as 70-year-old Maribel Bryan, who was known to her neighbors as Terri Turner and her daughter, 40-year-old Renee Blake.
The DOB issued a vacate order for eight apartments, and the Red Cross is assisting 33 families.
The FDNY is investigating the cause of the fire.
News 12 spoke to a woman who lost her mother and sister in the fire. She says her mom was a nurse at Bronx Lebanon Hospital until she retired a couple years ago. 
“My mother and my sister were inseparable throughout life and I'm not surprised that they died together because even if my mom was telling her to go I know she wouldn't have left my mom,” said Peta Rose Thomas, who has been left processing the sudden loss. 
Maribel Bryan, a 70-year-old retired nurse, and her 42-year old-daughter Dwanea Blake, an X-ray technician were two of the four women who died.
“So it looks like my sister was trying to protect her. They found them in the bathroom with the towels, wet towels but it was just too much smoke. I mean the bathroom is totally black,” said Thomas. 
Traces of that smoke can still be seen outside of apartment 603,  where police say the fire started, as well as the two neighboring units whose occupants were killed. 
As authorities work to notify their families, neighbor Debra Myers says she's known the other two victims for decades, another daughter and her mother,  who was in her 90s. 
“We were the best of friends, best of family and we looked out for one another and she was a lovely woman. She would help with the gardening in front of her building when she can with her little cane.  Her daughter also was a sweetheart. She was an activist with me,” said Myers. 
Vacate orders were issued for eight apartments in the building. Fire officials continued their investigation Wednesday afternoon.
The Fire Safety Education Unit was handing out smoke detectors as the building's management company tells News 12 any past violations for broken or missing smoke detectors at 1560 Grand Concourse have been corrected. 
The firefighters also offered tips to those in the Mount Eden neighborhood.
A fifth woman, who neighbors say lived in the apartment where the fire started, was hospitalized but officials say she is expected to recover. 
 


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