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Man killed in NYC blaze lived alone with dog: neighbors

Man killed in NYC blaze lived alone with dog: neighbors

The man who died in a Queens house fire Wednesday lived alone with his dog — who was rescued during the late-night blaze, according to neighbors.

The 56-year-old man — whose name The Post is withholding pending family notification — was killed when flames ripped through his two-story attached home at 257-54 148th Ave. in Rosedale, according to officials and neighbors.

The man was found lying face-up on the kitchen floor, the sources said. He was pronounced dead on scene.

Peter Lugay, 62, a construction worker who lives in the basement and is part of the family that owns the building, said the victim was a dental assistant working at Bellevue Hospital.

“He was a loner, very quiet, reserved,” Lugay said. “I have never seen anyone come to see him. He would be there but you’ll never know he was there.”

The people on the first floor of the building heard the man “bawling” as the fire raged, Lugay said.

“I heard stamping and commotion,” he said. “I didn’t know it was a fire. I came outside to look… I saw a huge flame coming out of the [second floor] window. It was a big orange flame coming out of the window and shooting up.”

While the man perished, firefighters rescued his dog Chihuahua named Biggie, according to neighbors.
While the man perished, firefighters rescued his Chihuahua Biggie, according to neighbors.
Seth Gottfried

The fire department rescued the man’s dog, a Chihuahua named Biggie, according to Lugay.

“I feel so sad for the man,” Lugay said. “I am trying to figure out how he didn’t get out, but his dog got out.”

Neighbor Carl Patterson said the news of the man’s death “hurt [his] heart.”

“I had to walk back in the house once they told me he’s dead,” Patterson said. “I asked about him and his dog. They said the dog made it but he didn’t. I heard that instead of getting out, he tried to put [the fire] out himself.”

“His dog used to play with my dog,” he recalled. “When his dog saw my dog, he’d start barking.”

A 56-year-old man died when a fire burned through his two-story attached home in Rosedale, Queens.
A 56-year-old man died when a fire burned through his two-story attached home in Rosedale, Queens.Seth Gottfried

Nigel Edwards, also part of the family that owns the home, said he was in bed when he heard “shouting, knocking and stomping.”

“My brother woke me up. He was saying, ‘Oh, there is a fire, there is a fire,’” Edwards said. “He was frantic. I couldn’t understand what he was saying. Then I went outside and I saw the flame and I realized there was a fire and it was serious.”

His brother also ran outside, he said.

“There was a lady in the street and my brother was shouting to her, ‘Call 911, call 911,’” Edwards said. “My brother was shouting, ‘He is dead, he is dead.’”

Neighbor Peter Lugay described the victim as “very quiet, reserved.”
Neighbor Peter Lugay described the victim as “very quiet, reserved.”
Seth Gottfried

“We don’t hang out with him but we come into contact, so what happened to him is such a sad situation,” he added. “To see something like that happen is traumatic.”

The blaze was placed under control around 12:35 a.m., the FDNY said. A dozen units responded with 60 firefighters. No one else was hurt.

The cause of the blaze remained under investigation Thursday.

About the author

Devon Bell

Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

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