Officials positively identified Francisca Figueroa, 48, as the missing person who was pulled out of the rubble of a leveled Brooklyn building on Monday, sources said. Figueroa had been missing since Saturday when an explosion in her second floor apartment caused the building to collapse.
Investigators initially believed that the explosion came from a gas leak from an improper stove removal in Figueroa’s apartment, however, the fuel had been turned off in her apartment because she was in arrears on her gas bill.
Officials are now following a new lead that Figueroa might have deliberately used chemicals from her nearby business, Franchezka Unisex Salon, to create the building explosion. Police officials said that they believed that Figueroa had posted “suicidal thoughts” online and officials are probing whether this figured into the deadly blast which also claimed the life of another woman, Ligia Puello, 64, in the building.
An autopsy showed that Puello died from smoke inhalation and flash burns. Thirteen others were injured in the blast, including a 34-year-old man with a broken leg and ankle, a 9-year-old boy with an injured leg, and a 27-year-old man with minor injuries to his legs. All three were treated at New York Methodist Hospital, sources said.
Investigators are testing the debris for chemicals that may have been used as an accelerant, officials said.
The law firm of Morgan Levine Dolan handles many types of cases involving building collapses and explosions. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients injured as a result of the negligence of building owners and contractors.
A thorough, detailed investigation into the cause of these buildings collapsing must begin immediately so that crucial evidence is not destroyed. The City of New York and its agencies cannot be relied upon to perform these types of investigations. Many times it is determined that improper building permits were issued by the City and therefore liability is found against the Department of Buildings of the City of New York. Hiring the right lawyer to uncover negligent acts is the first important step.
If a loved one have been injured or killed in a building collapse, contact Jared Levine of Morgan Levine Dolan today.