2008_07_hhfire.jpgA two-alarm fire broke out at a 6-floor apartment building on West 148th Street and Riverside Drive around 8:40 p.m., and a man and a 5- or 6-year-old boy died after jumping from the sixth floor. The man, believed to be the boy's godfather, was pronounced dead at the scene while the boy apparently went into cardiac arrest and died at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital. FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief John Scudnik said they couldn't get to the fire escape, "The conditions were probably so unbearable that he probably chose to get out on the window ledge and fell."

Eight people, including two firefighters, were injured in the blaze. Another person, a woman believed to be the boy's mother, tried to get out from a sixth floor bedroom, but was unable to open the window because of the child safety bars and an air-conditioner. Scudnik said, "that probably saved her life."

The fire had started on the fifth floor, but quickly spread to the top floor, and residents said te heat and smoke were intense (the FDNY says the building's alarms were working). They also blamed the building's old wiring.