The emergency call was to report a fire in the multiple family house on 214th Place in Bayside, Queens.
Firefighters quickly doused the flames in the kitchen of the basement apartment. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown told PIX 11 News that firefighters then "opened the bedroom door and found a female in the bed with a knife in her and they opened a nearby closet and found a male attempting to hang himself."
The 33-year-old woman had multiple stab wounds and had no heart beat when firefighters reached her. The 50-year-old man was pulled from the closet unconscious and rushed to New York Hospital Queens in critical condition.
Police had no immediate indication as to what may have triggered the violent rampage. Perhaps the building's landlord had a clue.
"She gambling, always," Young Uy Kim told PIX11 News. "She took money from him and gambling. Go to gambling all the time. They sometimes arguing, fighting, fighting about money," she said.
Neighbors said the Asian couple was not married and had been living in the apartment about a year. The cause of the fire was not immediately determined, but neighbors reported smelling a heavy odor of gasoline before the blaze erupted.
Three firefighters suffered minor injuries.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times