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31 December 2017, 12:59 | Sheila Mcguire
Deadly fire sweeps Bronx apartment building in New York
New York City fire commissioner Daniel Nigrosaid a stairwell acted like a chimney and quickly spread the deadly fire.
Officials said at least 12 people were killed in the fast-moving blaze.
Another four people were "fighting for their lives" following the fire, the city's fire department said on Twitter. His wife was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation and was OK, Rodriguez said, but it was "devastating" that other neighbors weren't as lucky.
Emmanuel Mensah, a 28-year-old who immigrated from Ghana five years ago, returned to his apartment for the first time after joining the Army a year ago, according to The New York Times. Excluding the September 11 attacks, it was the worst fire in the city since 87 people were killed in an arson at a social club in the Bronx in 1990.
Nigro said investigators had not yet determined how numerous building's fire alarms were working at the time of the fire.
Many questions remained in the immediate aftermath of the blaze, including how the fire spread so quickly in a brick building that was built after catastrophic fires at the turn of the 20th century ushered in an era of tougher enforcement of fire codes. About 160 firefighters were evacuating the building.
"Because of FDNY's quick response, based on the information we have now, at least 12 people were rescued and will survive", de Blasio said.
Officials said on Friday the fire started when a three-year-old boy was playing with a stove inside of a first-floor apartment.
Young lived in the basement but had gone upstairs to visit Stewart-Francis in her fifth-floor apartment, said Young's boyfriend, Kenyon George. "We won't tell you anything more about it other than they range in ages from 1 to over 50". "I heard a woman yelling, 'We're trapped, help!'"
Nigro said it's not rare for children to start fires.
Authorities said the boy was three-and-a-half years old.
"I opened the door and it was pitch black", Rodriguez said.
"I don't know what to do, how to feel - I'm just numb", Fernando Batiz told CBC's Steven D'Souza.
And in 2007, a fire in the Bronx killed nine children and an adult. Red Cross representatives stationed on the block offered blankets and smoke alarm installations to residents.
But Nigro said there was nothing unusual about the structure of the building that would have made it especially prone to such a disaster, a point that Mayor Bill de Blasio, D, reiterated later on WNYC radio. He was staying with a family that escaped the fire safely, but no one could find Mensah, despite checking four hospitals.
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