Daniel Ignacio is accused of killing five people in a Brooklyn arson fire, from which two children were saved while their mother burned alive. Miguel Chan told the tale of the arson tragedy involving his family.
BY JESSE WARD AND OREN YANIV
ANTHONY LANZILOTE FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Miguel Chan and kids, Josias (l.) and Maria, who was only 2 months old when she was thrown from a burning building in Bensonhurst. Chan’s died in the blaze set by an arsonist.
The trial of a Brooklyn man accused of killing five people in an arson fire came to a gripping standstill as a widower described how he tossed his two young children out of the burning building while his wife took her last breaths a few feet away.
Miguel Chan, 42, gave the horrific account as testimony against Daniel Ignacio, who is accused of starting the January 2010 blaze.
“My wife was saying goodbye to me and to take care of the children,” Chan said of Luisa Chan, 34. “That she couldn’t live anymore.”
In surveillance video shown in the arson trial of Daniel Ignacio, bystanders look up before a 2-month-old girl is dropped in a car seat.
“We were screaming, we were crying,” he added. “I asked God for courage to help me save the children.”
The husband had just broken a window in their Bensonhurst tenement and hurled their 2-month-old daughter, Maria, to neighbors on the street.
The 2-month-old daughter of Miguel Chan falls from the window of a burning building targeted by an arsonist. The baby struck her head hard on the sidewalk and the now-2-year-old has severe developmental problems.
He then lowered his 2-year-old, Josias, from the third to the second floor, where Ignacio himself handed the boy to firefighters.
The dramatic surveillance tape — which was shown to the jury — features the baby getting tossed to the street, unstrapped, in a car seat and being picked up by a good Samaritan.
Moments later, firefighters retrieved the boy with a ladder, then brought Chan down as he motioned frantically that someone was still upstairs.
Bystanders were unable to catch the baby as she fell to the pavement.
Luisa Chan succumbed to the heavy smoke.
Baby Maria struck her head in the fall and still suffers from severe developmental problems, he said.
Ignacio, 32, claims he was drunk and never intended to ignite the fatal blaze.
The landlords of the building have been indicted for manslaughter for allegedly subdividing apartments illegally, thus creating a deathtrap.