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2 dead, 5 injured in early morning fire in Brooklyn blamed on power strip


NEW YORK — A faulty power strip sparked a fire that raced through a Brooklyn home, killing two people as firefighters and neighbors tried to save them, authorities and witnesses said.

Lord Kinard, 76, and Octavia Kinard, 71, were killed in the blaze around 6 a.m. Saturday in the East Flatbush neighborhood, police said. They weren't immediately sure of the relationship between the Kinards.

Five other people were injured, including two firefighters. One person jumped to safety from the second floor, while another climbed down a ladder that a neighbor raced to set up, witnesses said.

More than 100 firefighters responded to the blaze, which surged through windows and shot through the roof of the two-story home on East 49th Street. Property records show the Kinards bought it in 1987.

Passer-by Sharon Hinds said she saw a woman leaning out an upper window onto a porch roof, trying to escape, before being overcome by smoke and falling back inside.

"I watched her die," Hinds said. Fabian Clarke told WNBC-TV that he tried to rescue a woman, but the flames were too strong.

Some occupants did make it out, with help from neighbors who awoke to screams and smoke.

Neighbor Keisha James told The New York Times she saw a boy or young man jump from the second floor, his hands badly burned, and she dashed across the street to open a gate for him.

Freddy Semple said he had run over to the burning house with a ladder when he saw a woman on the roof. Although he started toward the roof and pleaded with her to come down, she wouldn't, he said, until a passer-by climbed up and persuaded her.

Later, when residents called him a hero, he said, "No," thinking of the two who had died.

"I feel like I was the one who was supposed to save their life," he told the Times.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams planned a safety demonstration Sunday on proper use of power strips and electrical cords.

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