At least 19 people, including nine children, were killed in a New York City apartment fire on Sunday. Mayor Eric Adams announced Sunday, international news agencies reported. He calls it “one of the worst fires we’ve seen in modern times.” Dozens were injured and more than 200 firefighters were dispatched to the 19-story building in the Bronx.
At least 60 people were injured, at least 13 of them are in critical condition. The majority of victims suffered acute lung damage from smoke inhalation. The FDNY fire chief said at a news conference that firefighters found victims on every floor of the building. “This is unprecedented in our city.”
According to the New York State Defense Forces commissioner, the fire broke out in a two-story apartment on the second and third floors. The reason is still under investigation. The firefighters saw the apartment door open, a possible cause of the rapid spread of fire and smoke. Pictures are shared on social media of two teenagers lowering themselves into a drainpipe, as meters-high flames erupt from window frames. There is also a rescue staircase up to the eighth floor.
Sunday’s fire comes just days after a house fire in Philadelphia killed 12 people, including eight children. All the victims were relatives of each other. Twenty-six people lived in the listed house, which was divided into two apartments. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but investigators say it is possible that one of the young children played with a lighter and then the Christmas tree caught fire.
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