Candle knocked over during voodoo sex ritual causes apartment fire

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

An elderly Brooklyn, New York woman was found dead yesterday after a fire triggered by a voodoo ceremony caused a blaze in an apartment that left dozens homeless. The details of the ceremony were not clear, but sources say it led to sex.

An unidentified woman hired a Voodoo priest for $300, identified as Nelson (Pepe) Pierre, to perform a mystic ceremony meant to bring her good luck. The woman went to Pierre's apartment, where she ended up in bed surrounded by lit candles which were mistakenly knocked over, setting the bedsheets on fire. In an effort to suppress the flames, Pierre splashed water from the bathroom sink on the sheets while his roommate, who was ironing at the time, opened a window for air. However, according to the New York Fire Department, wind gusting through the open window created a "blowtorch effect" which caused the fire to spread to the 4th floor hallway and into the 5th and 6th floors. The blaze killed one woman, three others were severely injured, and at least 20 firefighters were left with burn wounds.

Cquote1.svg Time and time again we respond to tragedies that could have been so easily prevented ... hopefully others will learn from this tragedy Cquote2.svg

—Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano

In an NYFD statement, Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano said, "Time and time again we respond to tragedies that could have been so easily prevented. This fire had so many of those elements ... hopefully others will learn from this tragedy." It took hours for hundreds of firemen from dozens of companies to bring the raging fire under control.

Pierre, a man in his 60s, did not call 911 right away, but attempted to quell the fire using water from the bathroom sink. A source in law enforcement said, "Nobody sees a crime right now. It was an accident. Maybe they weren't careful, but they did try to put it out."

Mary Feagin, a 64-year old retired teacher, died in the blaze.

The New York Police Department is currently investigating the incident.


Sources

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