Eight Left Homeless After Act of Apparent Arson on Jefferson Ave.

Fire broke out Saturday night during fight between two brothers, residents say.

A handful of residents on Jefferson Avenue in Bed-Stuy were left with few good options after a suspicious fire gutted the top floors of their four-story building on Saturday night.

"I got no place to go now," said resident Eric Benson in front of his ruined building at 476A Jefferson Ave. between Throop Avenue and Marcus Garvey Boulevard on Sunday. "I don't know what I'm going to do."

The blaze broke out at around 8:30 p.m., according to residents, who said that the fire started inside the building on the stairs between the second and third floors during an argument between two brothers.

"One of them ended up getting some gasoline and poured it in on the steps," said Barry Kirton, another resident outside the building on Sunday. "Then he lit it and they both ran out."

The third floor of adjacent 478 Jefferson Ave. was also damaged by the blaze, which was put out at 9:28 p.m., according to the New York Fire Department.

65 firefighters from 12 units battled the blaze, FDNY said.

Fire officials said the blaze was under investigation, but it was unclear whether it was being treated as a possible arson.

Kirton said eight residents have been displaced by the fire.

Along with Benson and another resident, Douglas Whittingham, Kirton gathered as many belongings as he could to take with him to a temporary shelter at a nearby motel on Sunday.

"There's no way I'm coming back here," Kirton said.

Anyone who would like to make a donation to help the residents of 476A and 478 Jefferson Ave. can call the Red Cross of Greater New York at 877-733-2767, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sara July 30, 2012 at 02:48 PM
This is so sad...i hope some of them had renter's insurance. best wishes to all those affected.


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