2003-03-06 / Front Page


By Charles Rogers

By Charles Rogers

One man was killed and thirteen others were injured in an eighth floor apartment fire in the BayView Houses project Tuesday afternoon.

According to Fire Department spokesperson Mike Loughran, the blaze occurred in apartment 8-I in the building at 1630 East 102 Street at 2:26 p.m. and was essentially contained to that apartment.

Albert Yeats, 60, a resident of the apartment, was fatally injured, according to Captain Frank Vega commanding officer of PSA-1, who noted that besides the deceased, there were two firefighters, two police officers and at least nine civilians who were taken to Brookdale Hospital and, with the exception of the wife of the deceased, later released. The victim’s wife was being kept in the hospital for further observation, Vega said. All were suffering from smoke inhalation except one firefighter who was treated for a knee laceration.

"At this time the cause doesn’t seem to be suspicious," said Captain Vega, "but we are continuing our investigation."

The Fire Department spokesperson said at least 60 firefighters fought the blaze.

Canarsie’s Engine Co. 257 was the first to arrive on the scene. Usually it would be accompanied by Ladder Co. 170, normally assigned to the Farragut Road firehouse but, on this day only, was assigned to duty in the Coney Island area. As a result, Ladder Co. 103, from Sheffield Avenue in East New York was sent.

One firefighter said the blaze was "extremely smoky" and noted that some of the civilians who were taken to the hospital were from the seventh floor.

"The police and firefighters — and even some civilians — did a hell of a job knocking on doors and getting everyone out," he said.

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