23-year-old man sleeping in East Harlem apartment killed in fire

A 23-year-old man died when a fire tore through his East Harlem apartment, the Daily News has learned.

Junior Perez, 23, was sleeping in a bedroom in the apartment on Second Ave. near E. 122nd St. in NYCHA’s Wagner Houses when the blaze broke out around 8:55 a.m. Friday, according to officials.

“My son and 17-year-old daughter were alone at home,” the man’s mother, Jenny Perez, told The News. “My son was sleeping, and that’s why maybe he did not realize what was happening.”

Firefighters and paramedics respond to a fire at the Wagner Houses on Jan. 26, 2024 in Manhattan, New York. (Barry Williams for New Daily News)
Firefighters and paramedics respond to a fire at the Wagner Houses in East Harlem on Friday. (Barry Williams for New Daily News)

Perez was rushed to Harlem Hospital, but he could not be saved.

“Thank God my son did not die of any burns,” said the grieving mom. “He died of smoke.”

It took firefighters from 20 different units to knock down the flames, which were under control by about 9:40 a.m., FDNY officials said.

FDNY fire marshals determined the cause of the fire was electrical.

Firefighters and Paramedics respond into a fire at the Wagner Houses Friday, Jan. 26, 2024 in Manhattan, New York.  (Barry Williams for New Daily News)
Firefighters and Paramedics respond into a fire at the Wagner Houses Friday, Jan. 26, 2024 in Manhattan, New York. (Barry Williams for New Daily News)

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