At least 19 people, including nine children, were killed in a five-alarm fire that ignited at a Bronx apartment complex on Sunday, officials said.
The Fire Department of New York said over 60 people were hurt, 32 of whom had “life-threatening injuries.”
A fire official who was not authorized to speak publicly confirmed the death toll Sunday to The Associated Press, while a city official who was not authorized to speak publicly confirmed the number of children dead.
The fire broke out on the third floor of the 19-story Twin Parks North West complex in the West Bronx around 11 a.m., officials said. A five-alarm fire is the largest response to a blaze. The fire department, which said there were over 200 members responding to the scene, said the fire was under control as of 1:27 p.m. ET.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro told reporters there are 63 people injured, 32 of whom were taken to local hospitals with “life-threatening injuries.” There were nine people with serious injuries. Officials said most of the injuries came from people suffering from smoke inhalation.
“We expect there to be numerous fatalities,” Nigro said. “This fire took its toll on the city.”
The Bronx hasn’t had this “horrific” of a fire since the Happy Land fire in 1990, which killed 87 people, he said.
“This is a horrific, epic, painful moment for the city of New York. The impact of this fire is going to really bring a level of pain and despair in our city. The numbers are horrific,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams said.
Officials have not determined a cause. Nigro said the apartment unit where the fire started had the door open, causing the fire and smoke to spread. There was no fire escape located in the building.
Local schools will be opened up to transport victims of the fire to be connected with family, Adams said.
“The (fire) marshals will investigate this to determine exactly what took place here and what we can do to continue to make it not have a reoccurrence of this magnitude, of a number of potential losses of lives,” Adams said.
Bronx borough President Vanessa Gibson said the American Red Cross will give food and blankets to affected families.
“We’re going to take care of every single resident that lives here at Twin Parks. We want to assure everyone that we will not leave you. This is devastating for all of us,” Gibson said.
The Bronx fire comes after a lithium-ion battery in an electric bike or scooter sparked a four-alarm fire in another part of the Bronx on Saturday morning, resulting in one firefighter sustaining minor injuries.
On Wednesday, 12 people, including eight children, were killed in a house fire in Philadelphia.
Contributing: Associated Press
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