According to police reports, at least 19 people, including nine minors, died and 63 others were injured in a fire in a 19-story building in the Bronx, New York.
The flames came from “a defective electrical heater,” said New York Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Nigro, who added that 32 people were hospitalized with life-threatening conditions. CNN.
According to Nigro, the electrical appliance that was in the bedroom of one apartment caused the fire which, after the room went up in flames, did the same to the entire apartment.
The official said that firefighters found victims on the stairs on every floor of the building, many of whom suffered cardiac arrests. He therefore believes that this event could mean an unprecedented loss of life in the American city.
City Mayor Eric Adams has traveled to the crime scene and has admitted that it will be remembered as “one of the worst fires of modern times in New York City”.
Adams also posted a message on his social networks describing the event as a “tragedy without measure” and lamenting the loss of 19 lives, particularly of “innocent young people”.
“Thanks to the men and women of the New York Fire Department for fighting so valiantly against the fire in the Bronx. An investigation is being carried out into the incidents, ”said the New York Mayor.
With this in mind, New York Governor Kathy Hochul has declared herself “appalled by the devastating fire” and announced that she will set up a compensation fund to provide the victims of the fire with the money they need to accommodate funeral expenses or other necessities.
“Tonight is a night of tragedy and pain. Tomorrow we will start rebuilding (…) We will rebuild their lives and give them hope, especially those from Africa, (from) Gambia looking for “Life here, in this great part of the Bronx”, has suggested the television.
“My heart goes out to the families of those we tragically lost, to all those affected and to our heroic firefighters in the New York Fire Department,” said Hochul on his social media network, adding that “all of New York State supports it New York City. “
On the other hand, the mayor reported that a majority Muslim population lived in the building and that many of the residents came from the African country of Gambia.
Adams has given assurances that his government will ensure that the deceased’s funeral rites are respected and that he will work to locate Muslim leaders who will be in contact with residents.
According to the newspaper “The New York Post”, the New York Fire Department reported that around 200 soldiers were mobilized to fight the intense flames.
Sources of this tabloid assure that one of the fatalities was a four-year-old boy. “They removed bodies from all floors. It’s the worst fire I’ve seen in 30 years,” a firefighter told the Post.
The association of uniformed firefighters, for its part, has denounced the shortage of personnel in the trucks arriving at the scene. “There were four firefighters instead of five (in the first truck) due to a lack of staff due to the corona virus,” said Association President Andrew Ansbro.
“Several of the first trucks to arrive were in the same situation. If there had been enough staff, the fire could have been extinguished earlier and medical care could have come earlier,” he said.
One of the neighbors, Cristal Díaz, 27, managed to escape from the 15th floor with her cousins, her aunt and her dog. “I was drinking coffee in the living room when I smelled the smoke. We wet towels to put under the doors. It was all crazy, ”he said.
Another neighbor has stated that many neighbors may not have left their homes because it is not uncommon for the fire alarm to go off about twice a week. “The people on the third, fourth, and fifth floors continued their day until they saw the smoke,” he said.
Apparently the flames started on the lower floors of the tower and the first flames could be seen from the outside in a window on the third floor. Firefighters have set up ladders to facilitate evacuation despite the difficulties caused by the low temperatures.