Three children killed in Bronx fire started by candle

Three young boys died in a fire started by a candle in a Bronx apartment where the power had been shut off, police said.

The two-alarm fire broke out just before 8 p.m. Friday in a second-floor apartment where a 25-year-old WOMAN and five of her young children were living, police and fire officials told the Los Angeles Times.

Neighbor Katelcia Gillard told the New York Post that she ran upstairs and spotted the woman screaming, "My children, my children!" Gillard called 911.

More than 100 firefighters responded and the fire was under control by 9:15 p.m., Fire Department of New York spokesman Daniel Glover said.

The three young boys and four other family members were taken to Lincoln Hospital  in the Bronx. 

The boys, who were declared dead at the hospital, were Elijah Artis, 5; Jeremiah Artis, 2; and 4-month-old Michael Turner. According to police, the boys suffered second-degree burns and smoke inhalation.

The children's grandmother and two sisters were in stable condition,  hospital spokeswoman Nydia Negron said. The children's mother was treated and released from the hospital.

The fire department said the apartment lacked smoke alarms. City fire marshals are investigating the fire, which has tentatively been ruled as accidental. 

Consolidated Edison, the local power company, said electricity to the apartment had been shut off Thursday.

"There is a significant amount of arrears on the account," Consolidated Edison spokesman Allan Drury told The Times, with back payments were "in the thousands" of dollars.

Local station WABC reported that the mother had just received approval for public assistance. Power was slated to resume Saturday.


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