One dead, three injured in Brownsville apartment fire: FDNY

brownsville apartment fire
Four people were injured — three seriously — in an all-hands fire in Brownsville on Monday afternoon.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Two people jumped from the fifth floor of a Brownsville residential building to escape heavy smoke and flames during an all-hands fire that left one resident dead and three others injured on Aug. 14.

The blaze broke out in an apartment on the top floor of 165 Rockaway Parkway just after 2 p.m. Monday. Twelve FDNY units with roughly 60 firefighters responded to the scene within minutes, according to a department spokesperson.

firefighters on scene
Two people jumped to escape the flames before firefighters arrived on the scene. Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Jim Carney, FDNY Deputy Chief, said that prior to the arrival of New York’s Bravest, two residents had jumped from the fifth floor of the six-story building and were discovered on the pavement below.

Both tenants who jumped were taken to area hospitals in critical condition, where one later died. A third fire victim was rushed to a specialty hospital in Staten Island to be treated for burns in the chest area.

Paramedics also treated another resident with a minor injury at the scene. 

people on sidewalk during fire
The fire is being treated as “suspicious,” according to the FDNY. Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Firefighters brought the blaze under control at around 3 p.m. Speaking to press after the blaze, Carney said that a further investigation by the fire marshal would determine the cause but that it was currently categorized as “suspicious.” 

According to city records, the building has received 136 complaints and 78 violations with the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development in the past two years — including multiple violations for broken or missing smoke detectors. 

Update 08/15/2023, 1:29 p.m.: This story has been updated with new information about a fatality caused by the fire.