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Press Releases / 2004 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: FEBRUARY 3, 2004

FIRE MARSHALS APPREHEND SUSPECT IN BROOKLYN FATAL FIRE THAT KILLED TWO AND LEFT ONE CRITICAL

Fire Marshals from the FDNY Bureau of Fire Investigation along with Detectives from the 83rd Precinct today announced the apprehension of Jose “CoCo” Melendez, 26, in connection with a January 9th fire that claimed the lives of two individuals and left one more in critical condition. The fire began at 407 Wilson Avenue in Brooklyn around 12:30am in the lobby area of the three-story apartment building and quickly spread vertically to the cockloft and ultimately through the roof of the building.

The fire resulted in the death of Gilbert Torres, M/ 29. His father Ruben Torres, 73, died a few days later of injuries sustained in the blaze, and his mother Natividad Torres, 70, remains in critical condition at an area hospital. Also injured were 10 of the 110 firefighters that were called to battle the second alarm fire.

Jose Melendez is charged with two counts of Murder in the Second Degree and one count of Arson in the Second Degree. He faces life in prison if convicted. . Fire Marshals Dan Caruso and Tom Kane apprehended Mr. Melendez. He was turned over to the NYPD due to the pending homicide charges against him.

Contact: Francis X. Gribbon / Michael Loughran (FDNY) (718) 999-2056

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