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'There was smoke everywhere:' Infant, toddler among injured in suffocating fire
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A firefighter tends to an infant injured in a fire at 920 Prospect Ave. in the BronxFirefighters battle the blaze on the second floor of a Bronx building on Sunday. Twenty people were injured.

Twenty people — including an infant and a toddler — were injured in a Bronx fire that filled a building with smoke Sunday, authorities said.

A woman found collapsed in a bedroom and a boy unconscious in a bathroom are clinging to life, according to Capt. Joseph McConnell of Ladder 42, whose team was nearby and responded to the blaze within one minute.

The fire started in a second-floor apartment at 920 Prospect Ave. in Morrisania at about 12:30 p.m.

One firefighter, Sean Heater, spotted the woman “halfway out of the bed between the bed and the window,” McConnell said.

“She looked black from soot,” he added.

Firefighters broke down the bathroom door to find the boy wedged between the sink and the bathtub.

Fourteen other civilians sustained minor injuries, and another refused medical attention. Two firefighters had serious burns, and a third firefighter suffered a broken thumb.

Resident Javich Valentin, 28, said he was alerted by a neighbor who banged on his door.

“I looked in the hallway, and there was smoke everywhere,” he said. “I couldn’t make it a few feet to the staircase.”

He went back to his apartment and looked out the window. He said he saw his neighbor, a mom in her 30s, receiving CPR on the ground.

“I saw they brought her outside naked, and they were giving her CPR,” he said. “It was like out of a movie.”

He said the woman, Sabata Flores, lives with her boyfriend, Jose Cantero, and that the couple has one daughter together who is about 2 years old.

Flores has two children from a previous relationship: Raphael, who is about 13, and a daughter, Maritza, who is about 16, Valentin said.

“Maritza’s hands were burnt, and they had Raphael on a stretcher giving him oxygen,” Valentin said. “Jose was also on a stretcher with an oxygen mask on, and his hands were burnt as well.”

“It hurts me,” Valentin said. “I’ve been living here for 20 years. I grew up with them. I love them.”

A pile of charred furniture, a bed and toys were strewn on the ground outside the building.

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New York Weather Forecast, NY (10021)

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