New York, Feb 27 (ANI): A Voodoo sex ceremony meant to bring good luck triggered the Brooklyn blaze that killed one person and left dozens homeless, sources have revealed.
A man identified by friends and neighbors as Nelson (Pepe) Pierre took 300 dollars from a woman to perform a mystic ceremony that promised to change her life, reports the New York Daily News.
The woman came to Pierre's fourth-floor apartment in Flatbush on Feb. 19 and wound up in a bedroom.
Pierre, known as a hougan - or a voodoo priest - surrounded the bed with candles and carefully lit each one.
The details of the actual ceremony weren't immediately clear, but sources said the good-luck ritual led to sex.
As Pierre and the unidentified woman steamed up the top of the bed, flames from some of the candles ignited the sheets. Recently shed clothes strewn about the floor also went up in flames, sources said.
Instead of calling 911, the voodoo priest used water from the bathroom sink to try to put out the fire.
Sources said a man who was Pierre's roommate was ironing his pants when the fire started. He opened a window and a door leading to the building's hallway. Then he went back to ironing.
That created wind gusts that "shot the flames back inside, creating a blowtorch effect," fire officials said. It turned a manageable fire into an inferno.
"There was a lot of smoke and it was dark," a resident of the E. 29th St. building said yesterday.
"A woman was standing there in the apartment holding a cell phone. Then I saw Pepe - he had no shirt on, but was wearing pants," the resident said.
The wind-swept blaze engulfed the fourth, fifth and sixth floors, sending dozens of residents racing from the building - some with only the clothes on their backs.
Mary Feagin, a 64-year-old retired teacher, died in the five-alarm blaze. The medical examiner hasn't determined her cause of death.
Twenty firefighters and 11 residents were injured and 47 families were left homeless.
Fire officials said the blaze was accidental and no one has been charged. (ANI)