NEW YORK – New York fire marshals say a fire at a Bronx apartment building that killed three young brothers was started by candles after electricity was cut due to unpaid bills.
Fire officials say Friday's fire started in a second-floor apartment of a six-story building a few blocks from Yankee Stadium.
Police identified the three as 5-year-old Elijah Artis, 2-year-old Jeremiah Artis, and 4-month-old Michael Turner. They were pronounced dead at a hospital.
Police said a 25-year-old woman, 4-year-old girl and 4-month-old girl were treated for smoke inhalation and are in stable condition.
The Daily News reported witnesses seeing the children's mother leap from a window with a child in her arms.
Fire marshals say the fire was accidental, but there were no smoke alarms. Con Edison said the power was cut because of outstanding bills.
"I heard the kids screaming for help," Christopher Rodriguez, a neighbor told the New York Post.
"I saw the firemen bringing out one kid. He looked like he was already dead. It was the oldest boy. His body was just black," Rodriguez told The Post.
The building's owner couldn't be reached for comment.
"I walked by their door 10 minutes before the fire happened. I heard them playing. Now I'll never hear them playing again," Valerie Frazier told The Post.
The building is about 10 blocks from the site of a 2007 fire that killed 10 people, including 8 children.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.