Nineteen people, including nine children, were killed in a fire in an apartment building in the New York borough of The Bronx on Sunday. 32 others were taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries, the local fire service reported. The fire has now been extinguished.
The fire broke out on the night from Saturday to Sunday (local time) on the third floor of the 19-storey building that dates back to the early 1970s. The apartment door had been left open, allowing the fire to spread and smoke billowing throughout the building, the fire service said.
The conflagration was fought by about two hundred firefighters, who had difficulty accessing the apartment complex without balconies. According to some local media, at least one person fleeing the blaze jumped out of a window.
The vast majority of the fire’s victims had smoke inhalation, Fire Commissioner Dan Nigro said. Firefighters who stormed into the building discovered casualties on nearly every floor of the building. Many of them had suffered cardiac arrest or serious breathing problems.
On Wednesday, a large fire in a terraced house in downtown Philadelphia killed at least 12 people, including eight children.