In a serious high-rise fire in the New York borough of the Bronx, 19 people die, but the number could rise significantly due to the many seriously injured people.
New York City – It is one of the worst fires in the recent history of New York City (USA). A high-rise fire broke out in the Bronx on Sunday morning (local time) in which at least 19 people lost their lives. Nine of them were children. “The numbers are terrible,” said Mayor Eric Adams, who spoke of a “tragedy”. It is assumed that the number of deaths could rise even further in view of the over 60 mostly life-threatening injuries. Fire brigade chief Daniel Nigro named a defective electrical heater as the cause of the fire.
“It all started with a defective electrical room heater,” says Nigro. “The fire has spread in the apartment, which extends over two floors.” In addition, the door of the apartment in the lower part of the building was open, so that deadly smoke could spread throughout the 19-story building. The people were trapped in their apartments or in the stairwell by smoke. The firefighters found victims on every floor, many with severe smoke inhalation.
High-rise fire in New York City: residents: inside mourn their neighbors: inside
One of the residents of the building told how he heard people on the run shouting “Help, help, help”. While his children were unharmed, his neighbor’s children were killed in the fire. He usually takes them all to school every morning, but now that will never happen again. “What am I going to tell my children now?” He said through tears. “Tomorrow is a school day, you will ask me where your friends are.”
Dilenny Rodriguez described hearing children scream. She herself was in her apartment when she noticed the smoke. She and her daughter waited in the bedroom until firefighters knocked on the door and took them down the stairs. “The bad thing was when we went down the stairs and we saw a corpse and dead dogs. We couldn’t do anything, ”she said. They mourn their neighbors. “Everyone had their families here in the building.”
High-rise fire in New York City: block of flats for socially disadvantaged families
The fire broke out on Sunday morning (local time) on a cold, wet New York winter day. After a large-scale deployment of around 200 firefighters, it was extinguished in a few hours. Videos on social media showed images of thick smoke billowing through broken windows. Firefighters used ladders to get residents out of the house. According to Mayor Adams, firefighters searched for survivors even after they ran out of oxygen.
Hours after the fire in the heart of the Bronx, the scene of the accident was still illuminated by blue lights. Hundreds of police, fire brigade and special teams continued the search for clues. An adjoining school was opened for the burn victims to provide accommodation for the now homeless. The building is a block of flats for socially disadvantaged families with adjusted rents. The Bronx is the poorest district in New York with an income of its residents well below the average of the US east coast metropolis.
Fire one of the worst in New York City’s recent history
The disaster marks one of the worst fires in New York’s recent history. In 1990, 87 people were killed in a fire in the Happy Land Social Club in the Bronx. The fire has been attributed to arson. As recently as Wednesday, a fire in a residential building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, killed twelve people, including eight children. The fire broke out on the middle floor of a three-story apartment building. (msb with dpa)
Rubriklistenbild: © Yanan Liu/imago