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Fatal New Year's Day Fire in Brooklyn

firefighters3.jpgA tragic New Year's Day fire in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant killed a man. The fire has been termed "unusual" by the FDNY.

The fire at 440 Jefferson Avenue near Throop Avenue broke out around 2:30 PM on January 1. It started on the second-floor landing and then spread to the third and fourth floors. The dead man lived on the third floor of the building and was declared dead at the scene, according to the fire department.

The fire was called unusual because it started on a landing on a staircase, which is an uncommon place for a fire to start, according to an FDNY spokesperson. It was also described as a very heavy fire.

Two people were injured and treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. A third tenant had to be rescued by the fire department after he became trapped on a ledge after being forced out of his apartment by the fire. Three firefighters were also injured and two were taken to the hospital for treatment.

The dead man was reportedly a security guard and the brother of another tenant.

FDNY statistics are not yet published for 2015. However, the FDNY vital statisticsreport for 2014 shows 71 civilian fire fatalities. Firefighter fatalities were not reported, but the report does show that there were 8,623 injuries and 144 burns in 2014.

The report also lists the top five causes of structural fires in 2014: electrical (34 percent), smoking (33 percent), open flames such as matches or candles (14 percent) cooking fires (11 percent) and appliance fires (8 percent). Whether the fire on the Lower East Side will turn out to have been caused by one of these is not yet known.