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After Power Is Cut, Candle Starts Fire That Kills 3 Boys
Bronx tragedy claims lives of young brothers
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2013 1:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – That three young brothers were killed last night during a house fire in the Bronx is tragedy enough. But then comes this detail from authorities: The power company had shut off electricity only a few days before, and the boys' 25-year-old mother started using candles around the house, reports the CBS New York. One left in the kitchen started the blaze in the second-floor apartment that killed brothers Elijah Artis, 5, Jeremiah Artis, 2, and Michael Turner, 4 months.

The mother and her two other children, a 4-year-old girl and her 4-month-old sister, escaped and are recovering, reports AP. While officials called the fire accidental, they say the absence of smoke alarms made it worse. Con Ed, meanwhile, confirms that it had shut off power to the unit because bills hadn't been paid. “It’s terrible. It’s just terrible,” a neighbor says of the fire. “I’m sick in here. I feel sick to think about it.”

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Oct 28, 2013 7:17 PM CDT
We have done several canvassing projects in our city in mainly Latino neighborhoods. This is because many of them have died from house fires with no smoke alarms. We also do some basic disaster training because they come right from Mexico and a tornado will hit and they will try to hide in a drainage culvert near their home and drown. Just in the past year, more than 12 Latinos have drowned trying to hide from tornadoes. So the first thing we do is survey the home. Then we ask where people sleep. For a typical Latino home, every room is a bedroom. It means we have to install up to 6 smoke detectors in the home. Thanks to very nice grants and donations from Lowes, Home Depot, Eveready, and Red Cross, we never fail to install the amount a family needs. The results are great when you hear of a house fire and everybody got out because of a smoke detector. No municipal fire department should ever fail to put in a smoke detector in any home or apartment when asked. Now there may be legal issues with a HUD property but still, if a fire station is asked to put in an alarm, they will do it. If HUD ever gets their drawers in a bunch because a municipal station installed a smoke detector, the political fallout can mean that career dissipation light goes into warp speed. We put a smoke detector in a hunter's trailer when a family was living there. This was after three kids died in an RV because the mom and dad were out buying drugs and used a padlock to keep their kids from leaving. A space heater started a fire and all three kids burned up. Needless to say, the mom and dad are now locked up in the state pen for life.
Oct 27, 2013 8:54 AM CDT
Slum lords live by different rules than the corp. landlords of today.; no smoke alarms, health dept. inspections, and of course tenants are required to pay in cash so the bums don't pay their share of taxes.
Oct 27, 2013 5:27 AM CDT
My prayers are with this family in their time of terrible loss. I can't help but feel as though ConEd's "dig we must" slogan now applies to the graves of these three lost angels.