2 killed in Flatbush fire were mother and son

Posted: Updated:
FLATBUSH -

Two people died overnight in an apartment building fire on East 22nd Street in Flatbush, according to authorities.

Neighbors say they were a 59-year-old woman and her 36-year-old son who lived in the building for years.

Other residents of the building say the victims were kind and helpful.

"He was a sweet guy, and he would always hug my kids," says Brenda Joachim. "Every time they saw him, they would give him a high-five."

Neighbors also say the man had two children of his own who were not in the apartment at the time. Authorities did not immediately release the victims' names.

The FDNY says flames sparked around 2 a.m., around the time survivors say they heard an explosion.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene, and the man died overnight at a hospital.

Firefighters helped many other residents escape the building, including a woman and her 2-year-old son who were trapped by smoke.

On Wednesday, the fire had left much of the sixth floor charred and burnt. The smell of smoke lingered in the air. Fire officials say that's where they believe the fire started -- and that's where the two victims lived.

Nearby, Red Cross volunteers were going door to door to hand out smoke alarms and fire safety materials.

Outside, mourners have set up a makeshift memorial for the victims.

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