Deadly Bronx, New York Fire Kills 12

Dec 31, 2017, 00:58
Deadly Bronx, New York Fire Kills 12

New York City's deadliest fire in decades happened three days after Christmas, on one of the coldest nights of the year.

The fire, the deadliest in the city in a quarter of a century, broke out on the first floor of a brick building and quickly spread upstairs, killing people on multiple floors, the New York City Fire Department said.

Photographs and video of the building seemed to show that the fire, which was reported just before 7 p.m., appeared to be under control.

Authorities said firefighters rescued 12 people from the building and four people were in hospital in a critical condition.

"We may lose others as well", he said.

Activity from police and fire department officers cut through what otherwise was a generally quiet residential neighborhood that sits a short distance from the Bronx Zoo, St. Barnabas Hospital and Fordham University.

Excluding the September 11 attacks, it was the worst fire in the city since 87 people were killed at a social club fire in the Bronx in 1990.

The fire commissioner said he's unsure whether all the smoke detectors were working in the building.

The fire spread up the stairs and cut off exit points for people on the upper floors. At least 160 firefighters converged on the scene to help battle the flames.

Mr De Blasio later tweeted his thanks to the New York Fire Department "for their bravery and quick action".

The fire started Thursday night around the time that many residents of the 25-unit, five-story building would have been eating dinner. "We won't tell you anything more about it other than they range in ages from 1 to over 50".

Among the victims are a family of four - 2-year-old Kylie Francis, 7-year-old Charmela Francis, 19-year-old Shantay Young and 37-year-old Karen Francis.

"I got scared and freaked out because I thought I was going to fall off the fire escape, but I tried my best", Martinez said.

Still, Nigro said there was nothing structural about the building that contributed to the fire. "I couldn't carry the rest of them", Reyes told the Times.

"I've been calling his phone, it's ringing, but nobody picks up", Bredu said.

Diallo said the apartment building has tenants who hail from all over the world. Red Cross representatives stationed on the block offered blankets and smoke alarm installations to residents.

And in 2007, a fire in the Bronx killed nine children and an adult.

Friday morning Mayor de Blasio said the search for answers in Thursday night's fire is ongoing.

Mensah lived with friends of his father - a married couple and their four children.

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