Brooklyn fire that left elderly woman critical sparked by candle: FDNY

A raging Brooklyn fire that left an 82-year-old woman hospitalized with critical injuries was caused by a burning candle, FDNY officials said Friday.

Firefighters worked feverishly to put out the blaze, which erupted inside the three-story home on E. Third St. near Beverly Road in Kensington about 5:45 p.m. on March 22.

“I was playing video games in my room and then my mom screamed that there was a fire,” neighbor Ziaul Zidane, 18, told the Daily News following the fire. “I thought it was my house and then I looked outside and the whole thing was on fire. There was a lot of smoke. I quickly called 911. I went downstairs and it was just all ablaze.”

High winds sent the flames to adjacent homes about an hour after the fire began, FDNY officials said.

“The smoke was all over the block. The roofs started falling down after a while,” Zidane recalled. “Sometimes when the [firefighters] sprayed the fire with water, it would stop and then come back again.”

Firefighters found the elderly woman inside the home. EMS rushed her to Maimonides Medical Center in critical condition. She was later transferred to NY Presbyterian-Brooklyn late Friday as her condition improved.

Fire Marshals determined that the fire was caused by a lit candle.

“When using candles, avoid wearing loose-fitting clothes and tie back long hair,” the FDNY said on X. It was not immediately clear if the elderly woman’s hair or clothes caught fire in the March 22 blaze.

A neighbor who identified herself only as Tania said the injured woman had lived in the house for more than five decades.

“She’s a nice lady,” Tania, 65, said. “She’s a very open-minded person, and she has several children in the neighborhood. She would always greet me when I saw her.”

The fire is hauntingly similar to a fatal blaze that also broke out a day earlier in Brooklyn, where a 99-year-old woman died.