A fire in a New York apartment building has claimed 19 lives, with many more seriously injured
More than 200 FDNY firefighters have been deployed today, Sunday, January 9, to tackle a huge blaze that broke out in an apartment block in New York’s Bronx neighbourhood. A total of 19 people are reported to have died, including nine children, with at least another 32 people said to have been seriously injured.
The incident occurred in a 19-storey building on 333 East 181st St in Fordham Heights, with the fire reportedly breaking out on the third floor, at around 11am. This is now the worst fire in New York’s history for more than 30 years. Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City is reported to be at the scene.
In a press conference, Dan Nigro, the New York City Fire Department commissioner said he expected ‘numerous’ fatalities at the Twin Parks North West complex. He explained that a door had been opened in the building which led to the fire spreading quickly.
“The smoke conditions in this building are unprecedented”, he commented. Many of those affected are believed to have suffered with smoke inhalation.
Speaking to the New York Post, one witness, Cristal Diaz – who lives on the fifth floor of the building – said, “We didn’t know what to do. We looked out the windows and saw all the dead bodies they were taking with the blankets”. Alanny, her 13-year-old niece, reported seeing “moms fainting at the sight of their kids dying”.
A spokesman for the FDNY said that firefighters struggled with the icy conditions while attempting to control the blaze, which reportedly spread rapidly. They report around 54 people already known to have suffered injuries from the fire. 19 of the injured were treated at the scene, with another 35, many reported to be in a serious conditon, being transferred to hospitals in the area, as reported by dailymail.co.uk.