Hunts Point mourns teenage fire victim

(07/14/03) HUNTS POINT - Friends and family have erected a candle light memorial on the front steps of a Bronx building where an early Sunday morning fire took the life of a teenager and left two families homeless. The victim, who was working towards his GED, is being remembered as a generous and kind boy by friends and family.

Neighbors said they heard explosions around 3 a.m. and rushed to the scene to help the building's residents. The witnesses said the fire, which quickly tore through the Manida Street house, started in the front room where the 17-year-old boy slept. According to the victim's older brother there were no smoke detectors in the apartment.

The boy's mother and younger sister were not home at the time of the fire. Everyone else was able to get out of the building. Three people were taken to Jacobi Medical Center for smoke inhalation. Three firemen also suffered minor injuries.

Fire officials say the cause of the blaze is still under investigation, but it has not been labeled suspicious.

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