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Brooklyn Blaze that Left 1-Year-Old Dead Caused by Faulty Wiring, FDNY Says

NY Daily News - December 16, 2016

by RICH SCHAPIRO GRAHAM RAYMAN GINGER ADAMS OTIS

The fatal fire that ripped through a Brooklyn apartment and killed a 1-year-old boy was caused by bad electrical wiring in the kitchen, officials said Thursday.

The deadly blaze claimed the life of little Ivan Baez, who died about an hour after firefighters carried him from the smoky wreck on the 13th floor of the Brownsville housing complex.

"Fatal fire at Mother Gaston Blvd. was accidental, electrical," FDNY fire marshals said Thursday in a tweet.

Faulty electrical wiring in the kitchen fridge was to blame, according to sources.

The 13th-floor apartment was equipped with working fire detectors, authorities said.

Inside the Howard Houses, the top floor hallway still reeked of smoke and soot coated the top of the walls. A small white teddy bear was at the door of apartment 13A, where Ivan lived with his family.

"I've not been asleep since I got home last night," said a 55-year-old neighbor who lives down the hall. "I've been crying, so upset. My heart goes out to the family."

Six other residents of the three-bedroom apartment on the top floor escaped with their lives, including an 8-year-old boy.

Ivan's mother was seen covered in black ashes and smoke, screaming for help, a neighbor said.

Another neighbor, Eduardo Munoz, 37, was home Wednesday when firefighters broke down his door.

"I heard a boom. I didn't know what was going on. There was smoke everywhere. They were telling me to go downstairs," he said.

Munoz ran to the lobby and found find first responders performing CPR on his neighbor from the apartment where the blaze erupted around 8:40 a.m.

The family moved to the city about 2 1/2 years ago, and is originally from the Dominican Republic, according to Munoz.