Tragic Outcome: Man Succumbs to Injuries in Bronx Apartment FireNovember 18, 2023
Only one person hospitalized after a blaze early Friday succumbed to his injuries, police said Saturday. Firefighters pulled Lester Marquez Ortiz unconscious and unresponsive from the top floor of the burning six-story building on Holland Ave. near Astor Ave. in Allerton. Ortiz, 48, suffered smoke inhalation and burns and was undergoing treatment at Jacobi Medical Center when he died, said cops. Two others hurt in the blaze were taken to Jacobi Medical Center in stable condition, cops said. The three-alarm blaze drew over 130 firefighters to the building at about 6:16 a.m., where they arrived to find a “heavy fire on the top floor,” FDNY Deputy Chief John Sarrocco told reporters at the scene.
Tenants on Friday described a chaotic scene as people fled to the street and others trapped inside called for help. “They were screaming ‘Help us! Help us!,” said Lilian Herring, 70, a retired watch company clerk who lived one floor below the fire’s origin in the building. The cause of the fire remained under investigation Saturday, the Fire Department said.