Watch CBS News

Thieves Ransack Apartments Of Bronx Residents Displaced By Deadly High-Rise Fire

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Neighbors in the Bronx were just starting to pick up the pieces after last week's a fatal fire in their 20-story building, when they became victims once again.

This time, though, they say they were victims to crime.

Residents at the Mitchel Houses told CBS2's Thalia Perez on Sunday the fatal fire that ripped through their building on Friday prompted them to flee, and while they were gone, burglars ransacked their apartments.

"You don't know what people are going through. You don't know what they have. You might of taken their last," a resident named Crystal said.

Muhammed Kabak lives on the 20th floor and said the thieves got away with his cash savings.

"They broke the door," Kabak said. "They take a lot of stuff. They take my clothes. They take my watch and my money."

A few doors away, Madeline Espino said she was also a victim. The thieves grabbed what they could.

"Four packs of steak, some chicken, a PlayStation and like $40," Espino said.

Firefighters were called to 303 East 135th St., just after 5 p.m. on Friday after a fire reportedly started in the trash compactor.

A 6 year-old-boy, Aiden Hayward, and his 32-year-old father were both found unconscious in the hallway, suffering from smoke inhalation while trying to escape the fire. Police said the boy died while his dad was still in critical condition at Lincoln Hospital.

"For all of this to happen in the building, and the people thinking about just what can we get?" Crystal said.

"It's upsetting. It's OK, as long as my family is safe, but, you know, it's sad," Espino said.

The cause of the fire may be linked to the broken trash compactor, but that's still being investigated, officials said.

CBS2's Thalia Perez contributed to this report. This story first appeared on Nov. 7.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.