BROOKLYN — A space heater sparked the blaze that left an 8-year-old boy dead in Flatbush early Saturday morning, fire officials said.
The space heater was placed too close to flammable materials on the first floor of the two-story home at 2773 Bedford Ave., near Farragut Road, causing a fire to break out just before 3 a.m., the FDNY said Sunday.
Residents of the building had complained about lack of heat just over a month earlier, on Jan. 3, according to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development's online database.
The building's landlord could not immediately be reached for comment.
Neighbors recalled a harrowing scene Saturday morning as screaming residents ran from the building and firefighters battled the flames.
"Everybody was screaming and confused," said Sunita Armogan, 47, who lives across the street from the family's home. "I can't imagine a mother not knowing if her kids are safe. She was hysterical. She was telling the cops 'You bring me back to the house to find [my] kids.'"
City Councilman Jumaane Williams said the victim's family is collecting money to bury the 8-year-old through checks made out to their church, World Missions Assembly, 1407 Flatbush Ave. The church is also accepting donations of clothing and non-perishable food. Donations can be dropped off at Williams' district office as well, 4517 Avenue D.