Tag Archives: flames

Fire guts Whitestone home, kills family’s beloved dogs

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Ray Colalillo

Flames gutted a Whitestone house on Wednesday afternoon, leaving the three-story home a smoldering shell and taking the lives of the owners’ two pet dogs.

“My two dogs were killed and they were the most valuable things I had,” said James King, who with his wife owned the house at 149-61 Powells Cove Blvd.

King and his wife were out of the house when the Fire Department called him about the fire.

But the couple’s shih tzu dogs, Benjamin and Chip, were inside the home, where they died in the blaze.

According to neighbor Ray Colalillo, the fire started in the rear of the home, which faces the East River, at 1:30 p.m. and quickly moved through the front of the building as strong winds stoked the flames. The Fire Department characterized the fire as a “two-alarm” blaze, and it took an hour for firefighters to extinguish the fire. When the firefighters arrived, they swiftly broke through the front windows and jumped into the blazing home, according to Colalillo.

Photo courtesy of Whitestone Civic Association

Photo courtesy of Whitestone Civic Association

“At first I saw smoke from my window,” Colalillo said. “And then pretty soon flames were bursting out of the windows and skylights. By then I called the cops. Within five minutes firefighters were here and they moved quick.”

The Fire Department is still investigating the cause of the fire. King’s son and daughter, who are now adults and no longer live at the house, looked on as firefighters picked through the wreckage of the home they grew up in.


3-alarm fire engulfs Douglaston home

| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence Cullen

More than 100 firefighters battled a blaze at a home on Douglaston Parkway last night.

The fire erupted at 7:50 p.m. at the Douglaston home that was under construction and unoccupied at the time.

“I told the Fire Marshal I heard three explosions,” said Thomas Perrino, of Little Neck.

The explosions sounded like a gas tank, he said.

Thirty-three units and 143 firefighters responded to the flames that completely engulfed the private home.

Firefighters had the 3-alarm blaze under control by 9 p.m.  The fire was contained to the single home, though neighboring homes experienced minor damage.

The FDNY said no major injuries were reported.

— With additional reporting by Terence Cullen