Bronx apartment building fire than killed 19 people – including nine kids – caused by SPACE HEATER


BREAKING NEWS: Bronx apartment building fire than killed 19 people – including nine children – was caused by SPACE HEATER being used to keep bedroom warm: Homeowner left door open as they fled, spreading smoke and heat to every floor

  • The five-alarm blaze erupted shortly before 11am on the third floor of a 19-story building at 333 East 181st St in Fordham Heights
  • Nineteen people are confirmed dead, of whom nine are children, in the worst fire in New York City in 30 years 
  • The fire at the Twin Parks North West complex broke out in a duplex on the second floor and quickly progressed, with an open doorway allowing the smoke to rapidly spread throughout the building
  • The fire was caused by a space heater in a bedroom, which was being used to supplement the heat in the building – which did have functioning fire alarms, Daniel Nigro, New York fire commissioner, said 
  • Firefighters found people ‘on every floor, in stairways,’ said Nigro, praising his team for continuing to work despite running out of oxygen 
  • ‘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, said about the scene at the fire  
  • At least 63 people have been injured, the FDNY said. Nineteen were treated at the scene and 35 others have been taken to nearby hospitals 
  • 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 

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New York City’s worst fire disaster in more than 30 years was sparked by a faulty space heater, officials confirmed on Sunday night – killing nine children and ten adults, and leaving dozens more critically injured. 

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. 

FDNY commissioner Dan Nigro said in a press conference, adding that ‘very heavy’ fire and smoke ‘extended the entire height of the building.’

He confirmed that a space heater caused the blaze.

‘We are investigating where everyone was found, and how the smoke travelled.

‘But marshals have determined that this fire started in a bedroom, in a portable heater.

‘The heat was on in the building. This was being used to supplement the heat.’

Nigro said that the smoke alarms were on, and working, in the 1972-built apartment block. 

‘There were functioning smoke alarms throughout the building,’ he said.

‘The first call was a resident hearing the smoke alarm and reporting it.’

Asked whether people knew how to escape, Nigro said: ‘On buildings like this there are no fire escapes. There are interior stairways. So people would have been aware of the exits.

‘I think some of them could not escape due to the volume of smoke.’  

He added: ‘Members found victims on every floor, in stairwells.

‘The last time we had a loss of life that may be this horrific was a fire which was over 30 years ago, also here in the Bronx,’ he added. 

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear on Sunday, but sources told ABC News that investigators are focusing on a space heater as a cause of the deadly fire. 

Commissioner Nigro said the door to the apartment where the fire started was left open, which helped fuel the fire and allowed the smoke to spread. 

‘We’ve spread the word, ‘close the door, close the door,’ to keep a fire contained, he said. 

A tearful witness told DailyMail.com there was still much confusion.

‘I don’t know, we haven’t heard more. It’s too much. [They were looking for] kids, mothers.’ 

‘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.’ 

Firefighters work outside an apartment building after a fire in the Bronx, on January 9, 2022, in New York.

Firefighters work outside an apartment building after a fire in the Bronx, on January 9, 2022, in New York.

Firefighters work outside an apartment building after a fire in the Bronx, on January 9, 2022, in New York.

Paramedics assist a child at the scene of the fire on 333 East 181st Street in The Bronx

Paramedics assist a child at the scene of the fire on 333 East 181st Street in The Bronx

Paramedics assist a child at the scene of the fire on 333 East 181st Street in The Bronx

Firefighters stand in front of the apartment building at 333 East 181st Street in the Bronx

Firefighters stand in front of the apartment building at 333 East 181st Street in the Bronx

Firefighters stand in front of the apartment building at 333 East 181st Street in the Bronx

The five-alarm blaze erupted shortly before 11 am on the third floor of a 17-story building at 333 East 181st St in Fordham Heights

The five-alarm blaze erupted shortly before 11 am on the third floor of a 17-story building at 333 East 181st St in Fordham Heights

The five-alarm blaze erupted shortly before 11 am on the third floor of a 17-story building at 333 East 181st St in Fordham Heights

First responders helping victims of the fire in the Bronx

First responders helping victims of the fire in the Bronx

First responders helping victims of the fire in the Bronx

A curtain hangs outside a window at an apartment building in the Bronx on Sunday. Fire crews pulled out victims out of windows

A curtain hangs outside a window at an apartment building in the Bronx on Sunday. Fire crews pulled out victims out of windows

A curtain hangs outside a window at an apartment building in the Bronx on Sunday. Fire crews pulled out victims out of windows

The scene at the fire in the Bronx, which authorities are calling the 'worst in 30 years' in New York City

The scene at the fire in the Bronx, which authorities are calling the 'worst in 30 years' in New York City

The scene at the fire in the Bronx, which authorities are calling the ‘worst in 30 years’ in New York City 

Neighbors watch firefighters from their windows after a deadly fire in the Bronx

Neighbors watch firefighters from their windows after a deadly fire in the Bronx

Neighbors watch firefighters from their windows after a deadly fire in the Bronx

‘We tried to go down through the stairs but there was a lot of smoke, so we had to stop at the sixth floor and we were able to get into a neighbor’s home. We stayed there until the firefighters came and they were able to guide us out of the building,’ another woman recounted to DailyMail.com. 

‘You couldn’t see anything. It was pitch-black,’ she said, adding that her 3-year-old daughter had been momentarily missing amid the chaos.  

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 the battery 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.’ 

Emergency personnel from the FDNY provide medical aid as they respond to an apartment building fire in the Bronx borough of New York

Emergency personnel from the FDNY provide medical aid as they respond to an apartment building fire in the Bronx borough of New York

Emergency personnel from the FDNY provide medical aid as they respond to an apartment building fire in the Bronx borough of New York

Firefighters rescue victims from the fire in the Bronx on Sunday

Firefighters rescue victims from the fire in the Bronx on Sunday

Firefighters rescue victims from the fire in the Bronx 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

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

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

Firefighters at the scene of the fire in the Bronx. More than 200 firefighters responded to the emergency

Firefighters at the scene of the fire in the Bronx. More than 200 firefighters responded to the emergency

Firefighters at the scene of the fire in the Bronx. More than 200 firefighters responded to the emergency

Fire Commissioner Dan Nigro briefs the press on the horrific fire

Fire Commissioner Dan Nigro briefs the press on the horrific fire

Fire Commissioner Dan Nigro briefs the press on the horrific fire 

It took 200 firefighters an hour to put out the blaze due to the icy conditions

It took 200 firefighters an hour to put out the blaze due to the icy conditions

It took 200 firefighters an hour to put out the blaze due to the icy conditions

Firefighters aid a victim at the scene of the massive fire in Fordham Heights

Firefighters aid a victim at the scene of the massive fire in Fordham Heights

Firefighters aid a victim at the scene of the massive fire in Fordham Heights 

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 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. 

Firefighters work at the scene of a fatal fire at an apartment building in the Bronx on Sunday

Firefighters work at the scene of a fatal fire at an apartment building in the Bronx on Sunday

Firefighters work at the scene of a fatal fire at an apartment building in the Bronx on Sunday

Emergency personnel from the FDNY respond to an apartment building fire in the Bronx

Emergency personnel from the FDNY respond to an apartment building fire in the Bronx

Emergency personnel from the FDNY respond to an apartment building fire in the Bronx

Emergency personnel from the FDNY provide medical aid as they respond to the fire

Emergency personnel from the FDNY provide medical aid as they respond to the fire

Emergency personnel from the FDNY provide medical aid as they respond to the fire 

Firefighters work outside an apartment building after a fire in the Bronx

Firefighters work outside an apartment building after a fire in the Bronx

Firefighters work outside an apartment building after a fire in the Bronx

The five-alarm blaze erupted shortly before 11 am on the third floor of the 19-story building

The five-alarm blaze erupted shortly before 11 am on the third floor of the 19-story building

The five-alarm blaze erupted shortly before 11 am on the third floor of the 19-story building

'The smoke conditions in this building are unprecedented,' Fire Commissioner Dan Nigro said

'The smoke conditions in this building are unprecedented,' Fire Commissioner Dan Nigro said

‘The smoke conditions in this building are unprecedented,’ Fire Commissioner Dan Nigro said

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.    

Emergency first responders remain at the scene after an intense fire at a 19-story residential building

Emergency first responders remain at the scene after an intense fire at a 19-story residential building

Emergency first responders remain at the scene after an intense fire at a 19-story residential building

The Bronx 5-alarm fire left 19 dead and numerous serious injuries

The Bronx 5-alarm fire left 19 dead and numerous serious injuries

The Bronx 5-alarm fire left 19 dead and numerous serious injuries

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

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

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

Fire crews attend the scene at the horrific fire

Fire crews attend the scene at the horrific fire

Fire crews attend the scene at the horrific fire 

Residents trapped in the building were pulled out building by firefighters

Residents trapped in the building were pulled out building by firefighters

Residents trapped in the building were pulled out building by firefighters 

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

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

‘This is a horrific, horrific, painful moment for the City of New York,’ Mayor Eric Adams said

The fire at the Twins Park North West killed 87 victims

The fire at the Twins Park North West killed 87 victims

The fire at the Twins Park North West killed 87 victims 

A firefighter looks down at the tragic scene of the deadly fire

A firefighter looks down at the tragic scene of the deadly fire

A firefighter looks down at the tragic scene of the deadly fire 

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.  

NEW YORK CITY’S DEADLIEST FIRE DISASTERS  

At least 19 people died on Sunday when a five-alarm fire erupted in a 19-story building in the Bronx.

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro and Mayor Eric Adams described the fire as ‘NYC’s worst in 30 decades. ‘The impact of this fire is going to really bring a level of pain and despair in this city,’ Adams said. 

We’re taking a look at some of the worst fire disasters in the recent history of the Big Apple. 

March 25, 1990/West Farms, The Bronx – Eighty-seven people died trapped in the Happy Land social club after an unemployed refugee, whose girlfriend worked at the club, set the base of the staircase – the only point of access to the club – on fire with $1 worth of gasoline. 

Bodies are covered along the sidewalk in front of the Happy Land Social Club in the Bronx following a fire in the windowless-second floor room

Bodies are covered along the sidewalk in front of the Happy Land Social Club in the Bronx following a fire in the windowless-second floor room

Bodies are covered along the sidewalk in front of the Happy Land Social Club in the Bronx following a fire in the windowless-second floor room

The charred facade of the Happy Land social club in the Bronx section of New York City is pictured in 1990

The charred facade of the Happy Land social club in the Bronx section of New York City is pictured in 1990

The charred facade of the Happy Land social club in the Bronx section of New York City is pictured in 1990

December 28, 2017/ Belmont, The Bronx – A fire in the Belmont apartment of the Bronx killed 13 people and injured 14 others. At the time it became New York City’s deadliest fire in 25 years. It erupted when a 3-year-old played with the burners of the fire stove on the first floor of the building. As the mother desperately removed her children from the apartment, she accidentally left the door open, allowing the fire to spread.  

A fire Department of New York (FDNY) personnel works on the scene of an apartment fire is in the Bronx borough of New York City is seen on December 29, 2017

A fire Department of New York (FDNY) personnel works on the scene of an apartment fire is in the Bronx borough of New York City is seen on December 29, 2017

A fire Department of New York (FDNY) personnel works on the scene of an apartment fire is in the Bronx borough of New York City is seen on December 29, 2017

March 7, 2007/Highbridge, The Bronx– The fire was started by a space heater’s electrical cord. it killed nine children and one adult. The building owner lost his five children. Another man lost his wife and four children. 

Fire department and police vehicles sit at the scene of a 3-alarm blaze that claimed the lives of 9 people, including 8 children, in an apartment building Thursday, March 8, 2007

Fire department and police vehicles sit at the scene of a 3-alarm blaze that claimed the lives of 9 people, including 8 children, in an apartment building Thursday, March 8, 2007

Fire department and police vehicles sit at the scene of a 3-alarm blaze that claimed the lives of 9 people, including 8 children, in an apartment building Thursday, March 8, 2007

Charred wreckage sits piled at the scene of blaze that claimed the lives of 9 people, including 8 children, in a 4-story apartment building Thursday, March 8, 2007

Charred wreckage sits piled at the scene of blaze that claimed the lives of 9 people, including 8 children, in a 4-story apartment building Thursday, March 8, 2007

Charred wreckage sits piled at the scene of blaze that claimed the lives of 9 people, including 8 children, in a 4-story apartment building Thursday, March 8, 2007

April 23, 2017/ Queens Village, Queens– The fire at 112-16 208th St in Queens Village killed five people, including four children. A person driving by spotted the flames and alerted police. The fire was raised to three alarms before being stopped. 

New York Fire Department personnel stand outside the scene of a deadly fire Sunday, April 23, 2017, in Queens Village in New York

New York Fire Department personnel stand outside the scene of a deadly fire Sunday, April 23, 2017, in Queens Village in New York

New York Fire Department personnel stand outside the scene of a deadly fire Sunday, April 23, 2017, in Queens Village in New York

October 4, 2015/Borough Park, Brooklyn – An intentional building explosion and fire in Brooklyn left two dead and eight injured after a tenant who was late on rent poured gasoline in the stairwell of the three-story building. 

View of 13th Avenue and damaged cars in front of burned out storefront

View of 13th Avenue and damaged cars in front of burned out storefront

View of 13th Avenue and damaged cars in front of burned out storefront

 

 

 

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