5 years later: Grieving survivor remembers the Prospect Avenue fire
The pain and grieving is still fresh for some residents five years after a fatal fire at 2363 Prospect Ave. that took the lives of 13 residents and injured 14 people.
Kadian Blake moved to the apartment building with her family in 2011. Several of her relatives also lived there. But that sense of family would face a horrific scene on December 28, 2017, when a fire started in an apartment on the first floor.
Blake, her immediate family, and some of her neighbors managed to escape, but five of the Blake's relatives were nowhere to be found.
"It's a pain unlike anything I've ever felt before," said Blake. "Within about 10 minutes, my mom called me and she told me that they were all dead...it was just devastating."
Thirteen tenants died from smoke inhalation - including Blake's five missing relatives.
New Yorkers would later learn that the fire started from a young boy playing with a stove, spreading rapidly after the apartment door was left open, filling the stairwell with smoke.
Now, the building remains vacant as it is part of an ongoing lawsuit.
At the time, the city said it was the deadliest fire in 25 years. Four years later, another tragic fatal fire took seventeen lives just one mile away at Twin Parks Northwest.
"More could have been done," said Blake. "...I just wish that I was able to tell them that I love them one last time."