19 Dead in Massive Fire at NYC Building

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New York City's worst fire disaster in more than 30 years killed nine children and ten adults, and left dozens more critically injured on Sunday.

The....

New York City's worst fire disaster in more than 30 years killed nine children and ten adults, and left dozens more critically injured on Sunday.

The five-alarm blaze erupted shortly before 11 am on the third floor of a 19-story building at 333 East 181st Street in the Bronx.

'Numerous' fatalities are anticipated, FDNY commissioner Dan Nigro said in a press conference.

'We didn't know what to do. We looked out the windows and saw all the dead bodies they were taking with the blankets,' Cristal Diaz, who lives in the fifth floor of the building, told the New York Post.

Diaz's niece, 13-year-old Alanny, reportedly saw 'moms fainting at the sight of their kids dying.'

The fire at the Twin Parks North West complex quickly progressed. At the scene, firefighters could be seen pulling desperate victims out of windows.

A hazardous material team was requested to retrieve a lithium ion battery, but it is unclear whether the fire was caused by the battery or was damaged by the fire, officials said. Fire Marshalls are investigating.

More than 200 firefighters across the borough responded to the scene. The FDNY said icy conditions made it difficult for firefighters to put out the blaze. At least 63 people were injured, the FDNY said.

'The impact of this fire is going to really bring a level of pain and despair in this city,' Adams said during a press conference. ''The numbers are horrific. We have over 32 people who are life-threatening at this time. This is going to be one of the worst fires we have witnessed in the City of New York in modern times.'

Nineteen were treated at the scene and 35 others have beed taken to nearby hospitals, many of whom are in serious conditions, officials said.

NYC mayor Eric Adams and Nigro are at the scene evaluating the situation.

Nigro said during a press conference that a door to the apartment was opened, leading to the spread of the fire.

'The smoke conditions in this building are unprecedented,' Nigro said. 'This smoke extended the entire height of the building, completely unusual,' he said. 'Members found victims on every floor in stairwells.'

Nigro said many of the victims suffered smoke inhalation and that he fears there may be numerous fatalities.

The death toll of Sunday's fire is set to become the worst in 30 years for New York City, second only to the Happy land club fire in 1990, in which 87 people died after an arsonist used $1 million worth of gasoline to set the club on fire.

Stefan Ringel, a senior adviser to mayor Eric Adams, confirmed the death toll on Sunday to the Associated Press, while a city official, who was not authorised to speak publicly, confirmed the number of children dead.

News photographers at the scene captured images of firefighters entering the upper floors of the burning building on a ladder, multiple limp children being given oxygen after being carried from the building and evacuees with their faces covered in soot.

Sunday’s blaze came just days after a Philadelphia house fire killed 12 people, including eight children, was the deadliest fire at a US residential apartment building since 2017 when 13 people died in an apartment in the Bronx, according to data from the National Fire Protection Association.

That fire started after a three-year-old boy was playing with stove burners.

The deadliest fire prior to that was in 1989 when a Tennessee apartment building fire claimed the lives of 16 people.

The commissioner added that the apartment where the fire originated had its door opened, allowing for the blaze to spread throughout the building.

'This is a horrific, horrific, painful moment for the City of New York,' Adams said.

Diaz said she fled her apartment upon learning about the fire.

'I was drinking coffee in the living room and I started smelling smoke. We started putting water on towels and the bottom of the door. Everything was crazy,' Diaz told the Post.

'We saw a bunch of bodies coming out. People from my childhood were dying,' her niece, Alanny added.

Twitter user Hennessy Castillo recounted on the platform her escape from the blaze.

'I was there, I made It out safely, but I could barely breath, I have asthma and I am very happy that I made it out safely, but I don't know what started the fire, all I know is that I heard a lot of people screaming for help, some windows were broken but some people were fainted,' Castillo tweeted.


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