Man dies in fire after being trapped in illegal Brooklyn apartment

By Amy Tennery | February 17, 2011 05:57PM

A tenant in an illegal apartment in East New York died after being trapped in the cellar dwelling during a small fire early this morning, according to the Department of Buildings. The two-story building at 568 Drew Street had been illegally converted to accommodate a basement tenant, a DOB spokesperson said.

Firefighters received a call alerting them to the blaze at 4:49 a.m. and arrived at the scene at 4:52 a.m., according to a spokesperson for the New York City Fire Department. The fire was under control at 5:23 a.m.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the New York City Police Department, according to a NYPD spokesperson.

There were no other fatalities or injuries, a FDNY spokesperson said. 

Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri released a statement today, calling the incident “a tragic reminder… that illegal conversions can have horrific consequences.”

Calls to the owner of the building were not immediately returned.