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Whitney Houston’s Film Crew Rescues Child in Deadly Fire

February 17, 1996

YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) _ A crew member of the upcoming Whitney Houston-Denzel Washington movie was the hero of a real-life drama when a building caught fire near the film location and he rescued a 4-year-old boy.

Tragically, Issa Ejelat’s younger brother and sister perished in the fire.

When the fire erupted, the crew was wrapping up a day’s work on ``The Preacher’s Wife.″

Fire Commissioner Thomas Lorio said he didn’t know the name of the crew member who rescued the child Thursday night, nor did city officials.

Firefighters had to wait for the crew to move a vehicle and some equipment so they could reach the building, but Lorio said the brief delay wouldn’t have made a difference in saving 18-month-old Crystal and 2 1/2-year-old David Ejelat.

The children had been home with their mother, 31-year-old Iman Ejelat, who escaped serious injury. She and her husband, Elias, had moved to the apartment Saturday.

The cause of the fire was not immediately determined.

None of the stars was believed to be in the vicinity when the real-life drama unfolded.

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