A radiator explosion in a Bronx apartment building burned two little girls to death Wednesday, according to the New York Daily News.
The two girls have been identified as sisters Scylee Vayoh Ambrose, 1, and Ibanez Ambrose, 2. Neighbors said the family is from Maine and that their apartment is designated for homeless families. The mother plays the guitar and the father does tattoos. Both parents were seen rushing the children outside and trying to revive their lifeless bodies.
“A radiator blew,” an FDNY source said. “It’s very bad.”
Firefighters performed CPR on the children and loaded them into an awaiting ambulance, which rushed them to a nearby hospital. Tragically, the two babies perished from the burns covering their little bodies.
The News reports that according to city records, the building is used as a shelter for homeless families run by the Bushwick Economic Development Corp. Currently, the city’s Department of Homeless Services has five families in the building under its cluster site program, where the city houses families in private sector apartment buildings, paying the rent until the family can find permanent housing.
“We will certainly be looking at Building Department records, previous complaints, outstanding complaints, current complaints,” FDNY Chief Michael Gala said.
New York Public Advocate Letitia James released a statement on Monday evening condemning the cluster site program for providing substandard housing to homeless families.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two children who were killed today in the Bronx as a result of an explosion in homeless cluster site housing,” said James. “The cluster site program provides substandard housing to some of the neediest families in New York City, and despite promising to phase out the program, the Administration has instead renewed contracts.”
She adds: “It is unforgivable that the City continues to enter into contracts with providers who do not ensure that these apartments are habitable, and today, we witnessed the lethal consequences of this neglect. No funds should be provided to landlords to house homeless families unless full floor-to-ceiling, building-wide inspections are conducted and reveal no hazardous conditions. These inspections must be ongoing and the results made publicly accessible.”
SOURCE: New York Daily News