At least 19 people, including nine children, were killed and dozens were injured in a five-alarm fire that ignited at a Bronx apartment complex on Sunday, officials said.
Stefan Ringel, a senior adviser to Mayor Eric Adams, confirmed the death toll 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 New York City’s West Bronx around 11 a.m., according to the Fire Department of New York. 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.
At least 32 people were hospitalized, and officials said most of the injuries came from people suffering from smoke inhalation.
The Bronx hasn’t had this “horrific” of a fire since the Happy Land fire in 1990, which killed 87 people, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro 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,” Adams said. “This is going to be one of the worst fires that we have witness during modern times here in the city of New York.”
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 in the building.
Adams said schools would be opened and people displaced by the fire would be taken there to connect with family.
“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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