At least 19 people, including nine children, died following a massive fire at a high-rise apartment building in New York City on Jan. 9.
A five-alarm fire broke out on the second and third floors of a duplex apartment building in the Tremont section of the Bronx at about 11 a.m. local time.
Firefighters arrived within three minutes of the initial 911 call and located victims on every floor of the 19-story building, Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.
At least 63 people were injured from the fire, 32 of whom were sent to the hospital in life-threatening condition while nine had serious injuries, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said.
Firefighters found many of the injured on the upper floors who likely suffered from severe smoke inhalation.
Officials have not disclosed the names and ages of the victims.
Nigro said firefighters found the door to the fire apartment was left open, allowing the fire and smoke to spread.
Firefighters extinguished the blaze around 1 p.m.
The Fire Department deployed around 200 firefighters to respond to the scene.
The Fire Department said that a malfunctioning electric space heater in a bedroom caused the fire.
The investigation on how the smoke quickly traveled continues.
Nigro described the fire as “unprecedented” and “unusual.”
Adams said the fire was “one of the worst fires we have witnessed during modern times.”
“This is horrific, horrific, painful moment for the City of New York. The impact of this fire is going to really bring a level of pain and despair to our city,” Adams said at a press conference.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul called the incident “devastating.”
“The entire State of New York stands with New York City,” Hochul said.
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