"Fire marshals said the fire started around 6:40 p.m., when a woman visited a man in the building and paid him $300 to perform a voodoo ceremony to bring her good luck. The man was known in the neighborhood as a voodoo priest, the AP reported.
A city official told the AP that the ceremony involved the man and woman having sex in a bed surrounded by candles. Those candles set fire to the linens and clothes on the floor, the FDNY said. But instead of calling 911, the man conducting the ceremony tried in vain to douse the flames with water."One man died in the fire, 20 fire fighters were injured, and the forty-four alarm fire cost the taxpayers nearly one quarter of a million dollars.