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New York City Blamed for Fatal Brooklyn Fire

BROOKLYN (CN) - A woman died in a house fire because Brooklyn firefighters took too long to come to the rescue and then found that the nearest hydrant was broken, a family claims in court.

Lourdge Sejour Paul filed the complaint Wednesday in Kings County Supreme Court with her son, Jacob Paul, and husband, Wood-Kervens Paul aka Woody Paul.

The family was living at 848 E. 15th St. with five other members of Sejour's family when the fire broke out Oct. 30, 2013.

Dieulie Sejour, Lourdge's grandmother, died in the fire, according to the lawsuit.

Lourdge's father, Charleus Sejour, now deceased, broke a window to help his wife, Marie, escape.

They say firefighters were late in arriving at the scene because first tried to enter through a dead-end street.

Since the fire hydrant nearest to the blazing building did not have any water, the rescuers then "had to travel further," according to the complaint.

Claiming that she carried her son out of the inferno herself, Lourdge allegedly suffered burns to her lower back and slipped into a coma for several days.

She says she now uses a pump daily to help her breathe.

Jacob suffered cuts "the size of an adult index finger" on his knee, and still has respiration problems, according to the complaint.

The family says the city was negligent for failing to repair the fire hydrant closest to their home.

"The firemen had to look for water in distant hydrants and the resulting delay caused the house to be totally engulfed in flame[s], [sic] making it difficult for the occupants to safely escape," according to the complaint.

New York City was also negligent in the directions it gave firefighters on how to reach the property, the complaint continues.

Menez Jean-Jerome represents the family, now living in Queens, in their action for $500 million in damages.

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