BY THE VILLAGE SUN | A two-alarm fire in a fourth-floor walk-up apartment in Soho on Monday evening left an elderly father dead and his son in critical condition.
The fatal blaze was in a six-story, 25-unit building at 104 Sullivan Street, between Spring and Prince Streets. According to the Fire Department, the call reporting the fire came in at 8:47 p.m.
A total of 106 firefighters responded to the scene. The fire was mainly on the fourth floor but also extended into the fifth floor, according to a Fire Department spokesperson. The blaze was brought under control two hours later, at 10:57 p.m.
Another civilian and two firefighters suffered minor injuries while a third firefighter was seriously injured and taken to the hospital.
The fire’s cause is under investigation. According to news reports, “tight hallways” in the building, plus “clutter” in the apartment, made it difficult to battle the flames and smoke. An overhead drone was even used to try to pinpoint the fire’s location within the building.
CBS News reported that the father and son were both found unresponsive.
CBS also said that there had been some complaints about the apartment over the years, including odors emanating from it in the past.
Soho artist Harry Pincus, who lives around the corner, rushed over and photographed the responding firefighters outside the building.
“When I heard that the victims are a 71-year-old and his 95-year-old father, I knew that it was Anthony, who I was just chatting with on the corner a few days ago,” he said. “I had a longer visit with Anthony than usual, and he was telling me all about his experiences as an ammunition handler for the big guns on a warship during the Vietnam War. He recounted a battle where the cannons were so red hot that an officer came below deck and poured water on them.
“Though the news is reporting that the father is 95, Anthony said that his father is 98,” Pincus said. He noted that the son had told him his dad had beaten various health problems over the years.
“He said that their building on Sullivan Street is finally being renovated,” he added.
Pincus said when he told a local old-timer about the fire, the man recalled, “That apartment was nice when the mother was alive.”