nineteen people died, including nine children, and dozens were injured on Sunday, due to a fire started by a portable heater that did not work properly and that covered a 19-story building in New York’s Bronx with smoke, municipal authorities reported.
The Mayor of New York, Eric Adams, who took office just over a week ago, confirmed that 19 people died from the fire that broke out around 11 a.m. in the imposing building Twin Parks North West, which offered affordable housing.
Read also: Philadelphia house fire leaves at least 12 dead
Earlier on Sunday, authorities said 32 people were hospitalized with life-threatening injuries and that a total of 60 people were injured.
“It is an immeasurable tragedy,” he wrote. Adams On twitter. “Please join me in praying for those we lost, especially the 9 young innocent lives that were cut short.”
At a news conference on Sunday afternoon, Adams said that “looks like this derived from a heater”.
The beginning of the fire in New York
The fire started in an apartment that encompassed the Monday and the third floor from the building and into the lobby, according to authorities.
However the smoke it spread to every floor of the building, likely because the apartment door was left open, and the victims suffered from smoke inhalation, said the city’s fire department commissioner, Daniel Black, to journalists at a press conference.
“The members found victims on all floors, on the stairs, and they were carrying them out in cardiac and respiratory arrest,” he said.
The firefighters They had determined, through physical evidence and residents’ accounts, that the fire started in a portable electric heater in the bedroom of the apartment, Nigro said.
He added that the heat was on in the apartment building and that the space heater was supplementing that heat.
It is likely that the catastrophe raise questions about the city’s low-income housing safety standards.
Its about second great fire at a residential complex in the United States this week, after 12 people, including eight children, were killed Wednesday when flames ripped through a public housing apartment building in Philadelphia.
US Representative Ritchie Torres, a Democrat whose district includes the New York building, told MSNBC that affordable housing complexes like the one in Bronx pose a risk to the safety of residents. “When we allow our affordable developments to be plagued by decades of disinvestment, we are putting lives in danger,” he said.
Adams maintained that many of the residents came from Gambia, West African country.
trapped by smoke
The building did not have exterior fire escapes, and residents had to evacuate by interior stairs, he said. Black. “I think some of them were unable to escape due to the volume of smoke,” he said.
Some 200 firefighters They helped put out the flames, and some ran out of oxygen in their tanks but pressed on to rescue people from the building, Adams said.
“I want to thank them for putting their lives on the line to save lives,” Adams said.
A Reuters photographer at the scene on Sunday saw emergency crews carrying out cardiopulmonary resuscitation at least eight people in front of the building.
Nigro said he believed there was 120 apartments in the building. “There are a large number of people who need a place to stay,” he said.
An official from the city’s emergency management New York He said all people needing lodging will be registered and placed in hotels for an “extended period” until it is safe to return to the building.