Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge apartment fire claims life of cancer-stricken woman

August 28, 2017 By John Alexander Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A fire at this Bay Ridge at 16 94th St. in Bay Ridge claimed the life of a 66-year-old woman battling cancer. Eagle photos by John Alexander
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A fire on the third floor of a Bay Ridge apartment building on Saturday night tragically claimed the life of Edwina Faith Golas, a 66-year-old woman who was battling cancer.

The tragic accident was more of an issue of smoke inhalation since no one in the apartment saw any flames. The fire may have been quickly contained thanks to the speed of the first responders, although Golas’ apartment was flooded with smoke.

While the cause of the fire is still being investigated as of Monday afternoon, the fire fighters believe the episode started in Golas’ bedroom and the damage was strictly to her apartment alone.

“At 11:30 my bell rang. No one inside their apartments really smelled anything because it’s a very fireproof building,” June told the Brooklyn Eagle.  “A friend of mine, a young girl who lives on the third floor, came home from work and smelled smoke.”

Golas lived by herself with her cats, and June said that her friend would always check in on her to see how she was doing.

“The woman had aides who would be with her in the daytime,” June said. “So, when my friend smelled smoke, she opened the door to see if the woman was okay, when all the smoke came pouring out. She called 911 and another neighbor on my floor smelled the smoke and also called 911.”

June said that FDNY workers on the scene told building residents that they were safe and that it was okay if they wanted to stay in their apartments as long as they kept their doors shut. She also said that the fire department responded immediately to the call.

“There were no flames,” June said. “It was mostly just a lot of smoke. I told the fireman that the woman had at least two cats, so they went in and rescued one of the them.”

While some of the people in the building were told that it was okay to stay in the apartment, according to June, many chose to leave the building as a precaution, taking the stairs because it was safer at the time than the elevator.

While Golas’ entire apartment had to be gutted following the fire, according to June, it was the only one that suffered any damage and there were no other injuries reported.

“The firemen came in with ladders and broke all the front windows,” said June, “and they remained at the scene until approximately 2 a.m.”

“It’s just so sad because this woman was all alone,” June added. “We were all worried about her. My friend and I were actually going to visit her today [Sunday], and there were at least four tenants in the building who would always check up on her because she was bedridden.”

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