New Year's Eve Fire That Killed 3 Caused By Family Cooking Soup

While preparing to ring in the New Year, a family was overcome by tragedy in their Queens, New York, apartment after a fire broke out, killing three people and injuring five firefighters. Louise Jean-Charles, 59, her husband Napoleon Michel, 69, and 37-year-old relative Nadia Donnay were preparing a traditional Haitian New Year's soup called Joumou when a fire from their stove caused absolute devastation.

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Jean-Charles' 36-year-old son Sergeory says he received a horrific phone call from a relative while celebrating at a party and was told a fire had broken out at his mother and stepfather's apartment, where they had lived for 30 years and were caring for Donnay, who reportedly suffered from a mental disability. He says he had visited his parents that evening and told them not to cook the soup and that they were happy and fine before he left.

The blaze started on the ninth-floor of their 18-story apartment building at around 11:45 p.m. Amazingly, it managed to stay contained within three or four rooms in their home and neighbors are saying if it hadn't been New Year's Eve there's no telling how many more people could have been injured since most residents would likely have been asleep and not able to call for help.

The fire department says 150 firefighters responded to the blaze and that it took two hours to put it out. Five firefighters reportedly suffered minor injuries. The bodies of the three victims were reportedly found dead inside of the apartment.

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Such a sad way for this family's relatives to start the new year. Our hearts go out to them today.

 

Image via Billie Ward/Flickr

 

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