12 useless, many displaced in fast-moving New York City apartment building fire – Chicago Tribune

New York City's deadliest residential fire in a long time unfold by way of each ground of a Bronx apartment building inside a matter of minutes, metropolis officers stated, killing 12 folks and sending different residents scrambling outdoors into the chilly and down fire escapes to security.

The useless included a baby round a yr outdated, New York City Mayor Invoice de Blasio stated throughout a briefing late Thursday, including that 4 extra folks had been combating for his or her lives.

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro referred to as the fire, "historic in its magnitude," due to the variety of lives misplaced. Excluding the Sept. 11 assaults, it was the worst fire in the town since 87 folks had been killed at a social membership fire in the Bronx in 1990.

"Our hearts exit to each one who misplaced a liked one right here and everybody who's combating for his or her lives," Nigro stated.

The blaze broke out on the primary ground of a 5-story building simply earlier than 7 p.m. and shortly tore by way of the roughly century-outdated construction close to the Bronx Zoo.

Some tenants of the building, a mixture of native New Yorkers and Latino and African immigrants, climbed down fire escapes. However the flames moved so quick that many by no means made it out of their flats.

The reason for the fire remained below investigation.

About 170 firefighters labored in bone-chilling chilly, simply 15 levels, to rescue a couple of dozen folks from the building.

Thierno Diallo, 59, a safety guard initially from Conakry, Guinea, who lives in a floor ground apartment stated he was asleep when he heard banging on the door. It took him a second to appreciate what was occurring.

"Solely once I heard folks screaming, 'There is a fire in the building!'" he stated. "I heard any individual, 'Oh! Fire! Fire! Fire!'"

He ran outdoors in his bathrobe, jacket and sandals.

Kenneth Kodua, 37, stated he left his apartment to get meals, leaving his roommate behind, and got here again to seek out folks fleeing in a panic.

Hours later, he was nonetheless looking for out whether or not his roommate had escaped.

"I attempted calling her. I attempted calling. No reply," he stated, nonetheless clutching his bag of uneaten meals. His cellphone was useless.

Many questions remained in the rapid aftermath of the blaze, together with how the fire unfold so shortly in a brick building constructed after catastrophic fires on the flip of the 20th century ushered in an period of more durable enforcement of fire codes.

The building had greater than 20 items. It was not new sufficient that it was required to have fashionable-day fireproofing, like sprinkler methods and inside metal development.

Witnesses described seeing burned our bodies being carried away on stretchers and younger ladies who had escaped standing barefoot outdoors with no coats.

Twum Bredu, 61, arrived in the neighborhood on the lookout for his brother, who had been staying with a household in the building. The household, a husband and spouse and 4 kids, obtained out. However there was no phrase about his brother.

"I have been calling his cellphone, it is ringing, however no one picks up," Bredu stated. "He was in his room, and we do not know what occurred."

The dying toll surpassed the 10 who died, together with 9 kids, in a 4-story residence in one other a part of the Bronx in 2007. That blaze had been sparked by an area heater.

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12 useless, many displaced in fast-moving New York City apartment building fire - Chicago Tribune