St. Lucian woman dies in house fire in New York

St. Lucian woman dies in house fire in New York


NEW YORK DAILY NEWS – Two people were killed early Saturday when separate fires raged through two houses in the Bronx early Saturday — the blazes less than three blocks apart, witnesses and fire officials said.

The deadly pre-dawn tragedies left four others hospitalized and neighbors and friends reeling with grief.

The earlier blaze started around 3:15 a.m. in the basement apartment that 64-year-old Claudia Bretney shared with her boyfriend on Beach Ave. near McGraw Ave. in Parkchester, officials and witnesses said.

The fire appears to have been sparked by a space heater, sources said.The apartment had no working smoke alarms, the FDNY said.

The fast-burning flames quickly spread throughout the house and Bretney was trapped by the smoke and fire.

The popular St. Lucia native moved to the area with her boyfriend about five years ago from Florida. She was known for her cookouts and church outings, friends told the Daily News.

“She was a great person,” said Augustus Evans, 49. “ I knew her since I was a little kid.”

Bretney and Evans both hailed from the tiny town of Monchy in the hills of St. Lucia.

It took firefighters almost an hour to bring the blaze under control, officials said. Bretney was taken to Jacobi Medical Center where she died.



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  1. gw, your inference does not relate to the content of the article. Rest assured if THOSE PEOPLE, wanted to BELITTLE AND REDUCLE (Small Island) people, Claudia’s death would not be given prominence with an article. From the article, I can infer positively, that she is putting Monchy on the international map, that her death reveals not just her virtue but by proxy extends these virtues to Monchy and St Lucia giving her birth place a high profile.

    Insults will be seen where you want to find them!

    You give credibility to your reading when you underpin your writing with factual content from the text. If you carry out a basis research and compare towns, given that the incident took place in a city, you will find that a town in St Lucia compared to most American towns is MINUTE, not tiny as described!

    Secondly, the people reading the article would not use a fine tooth comb for negative tones as you have done, and they are the primary readers of the article! Instead they would be moved that someone in their city can come from away and die so tragically – that is a moving story. Who knows what positive results could come out of that exposure for Claudia’s family and the community?


  2. wow it so sad that one of our very own had to go out like that ,i never knew her but i knew her daughter ,but from what people said she seemed to be a loving awesome person which made it even sadder for me to hear of her passing, but in all the moaning

    i am a bit more saddened by the article in the states from the dail news stating where she came from in Saint Lucia in Monchy being tiny and in the hills , why is it these people like to ridicule us like that calling us small island people saying we come from a small community ,

    I mean regardless if its small or not why cant you just say straight forward where the person came from without adding the word small or tiny to it , its like saying the place where she come from is so insignificant because its small and since its in the hills it maybe even worse cause she didnt come from a rich family with condo and all kinds of things ,jeez man and in case yall didnt know that same place or places which has been described as small/tiny and in the hills have produced some outstanding people that have done BIG things so stop trying to be little people and make them feel they worth nothing. To the family be strong God is with you


    • One thing when ever I speak the truth about something and it hits home no body wants to hear it and they quick to put thumbs down ,I am sure that most of y'all that put thumbs down are my own island brothers and sisters that don't like when I speak the truth even when it affects us all


    • This article is aimed at a readership in the vicinity of the incident. It is factual in its description of Monchy.
      I think you are being prickly!

      It is tragic to lose one's life in fire. More so when there are laws and preventative measure that can be put in place to eliminate the loss of lives and property. I am speaking as a survivor from a fire who have lived with guilt for the ones who died. It is the mindfulness state to fire prevention that saves lives and every one should cultivate that state of mind.

      To Claudia Bretney - RIP. To the those injured, I wish you a speed recovery of body and mind.


      • i think you are one of those that belittle our own island people thats why you will always say that and settle for less and not rise above how we are being mocked upon and ridiculed in being described as such in the article regardless if the place is small, stop looking for excuses and wipe your eyes to see the bigger picture, we are greater than that.


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