3:43 PM PST, January 9, 2022
At least 19 people are dead, nine of them children, after a massive 5-alarm blaze Sunday morning in New York City.
Officials are calling it the city’s worst fire in more than three decades.
Just after 10 a.m. 200 FDNY members responded to a blaze at a high rise apartment building in The Bronx.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro told WCBS, “Firefighters found victims on every floor and were taking them out in cardiac and respiratory arrest,” Nigro said. “That is unprecedented in our city.”
Nigro said a portable electric space heater in a bedroom caused the deadly blaze. Nigro added that the front door to the apartment where the fire began was left open, causing the flames to spread.
At a press conference on Sunday evening, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that she would include a victim’s compensation fund in her budget which she is currently finalizing. Mayor Eric Adams made it clear that ICE will not be called on any survivor who needs help. The neighborhood where the fire occurred is home to a large population of African immigrants.
One anonymous woman who was rescued from the building told WCBS about what she experienced. “Black, black smoke I could barely see from me to you. Helped the people that were able to come into my house and once the fire department got there and they was able to get us out they said follow the stairs until you see light.”
Officials say most of the more than 60 victims were taken to local hospitals, mainly for smoke inhalation.
Help is available by texting 181STFIRE to 692692 or by heading here.