US: Child caused massive apartment fire killing 12
An apartment fire that killed at least 12 people, including five children, was started by a three-year-old boy playing with a stove, New York City Fire Department (FDNY) officials said Friday, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.
Describing it as the "deadliest fire in decades," FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the apartment's stairway acted "like a chimney" as the fire burst from the apartment, feeding the flames and allowing them to spread throughout the building.
Nigro said some victims died from burns and others from smoke inhalation with no time to react or find a main escape route.
Officials said five children -- including three girls aged 1, 2 and 7 -- were among the dead. The oldest victim was a 63-year-old woman.
Fourteen others were hurt, including four severely, and are fighting for their lives. Six firefighters and an emergency responder battling the fire in difficult conditions were also injured.
The boy, who has a "history of playing with the burners and turning them on", started the fire, Nigro told reporters at a press conference, adding it was too late when the mother discovered the flames.
She exited her apartment with her 2-year-old and the 3-year-old and left the door open, Nigro said, adding that is the reason the fire spread up the stairwell so quickly to the rest of the building.
"Close the door. Close the door. Close the door. If unfortunately, you do have a fire in your apartment, you must close the door when you exit because the results if you do not are what happened here last night," he added, describing it as the "lesson of the night".
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was en route to the scene immediately, called the city's worst fire in a quarter century "an unspeakable tragedy" and warned that the death toll could rise.
"In the middle of the holiday season, a time when families are together, tonight here in the Bronx, there are families that have been torn apart," he said. "Based on the information we have now, this will rank as one of the worst losses of life to a fire in many, many years."
The fire broke out on the first floor and quickly spread throughout the five-story apartment building, which is near the Bronx Zoo and a college.
The FDNY said more than 160 firefighters were on the scene and battling the flames in bone-chilling cold of minus 9 degrees Celsius (16 degrees Fahrenheit) to rescue people.
The victims reported injured were taken to nearby medical centers and are in either serious or critical condition, according to the FDNY.
The Red Cross arrived on the scene and were handing out blankets to residents who were stuck without access to their apartments.
The fire was the deadliest since 1990, when 87 people died in a blaze at the Happy Land social club.
Related news releases
- 26.04.2018US not seeking to reopen Iran nuclear deal, envoy says
- 26.04.2018U.S. probing Huawei for possible Iran sanctions violations
- 25.04.2018Senate confirms new director of National Security Agency
- 25.04.2018US urges all sides in Armenia to engage constructively on transition of power
- 25.04.2018Trump and France's Macron seek new measures on Iran as deadline looms
- 25.04.2018US: 2 officers, 1 civilian shot in Texas
- 25.04.2018Venezuelan refugees in Colombia exceed one million
- 24.04.2018US defense official comments on relations with Russia
- 24.04.2018Terrorism is likely motive behind Toronto van attack: U.S. source
- 24.04.2018Driver kills 10, injures 15 plowing van into Toronto sidewalk crowd
- 24.04.2018France's Macron visits Trump as Iran nuclear deal hangs in balance
- 24.04.2018At least nine dead in Nicaragua protests, U.S. curbs embassy services
- 24.04.2018U.S. allies press Trump to keep Iran nuclear deal alive
- 24.04.2018Mattis says he is optimistic North Korea talk will be 'fruitful'
- 22.04.2018One killed, six injured in overnight shooting in San Francisco
- 21.04.2018At least three dead, including police officer, in Nicaragua protests
- 21.04.2018Trump, France's Macron to discuss Iran nuclear deal next week
- 21.04.2018State Dept reveals content of US under secretary meeting with Russian ambassador
- 21.04.2018Russia calls for greater UN presence in Syria
- 20.04.2018US president slams cartel OPEC over high oil prices
- 20.04.2018Time reveals 100 Most Influential People for 2018
- 20.04.2018Man linked to 9/11 attacks on U.S. captured in Syria
- 20.04.2018No intent to change Syria's strategic balance: Pentagon
- 20.04.2018Trudeau says recognizes NAFTA timeline, will stick up for Canada
- 20.04.2018Russian diplomat calls on US to show readiness for constructive dialogue
- 20.04.2018US State Dept warns Turkey of possible sanctions over S-400 purchase
- 19.04.2018Steven Seagal has no plans to visit Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh
- 19.04.2018Trump: US taking care of Cuba following election of new president
- 19.04.2018Trump: Battle between US forces, Russian nationals in Syria month ago 'sad'
- 19.04.2018Trump, Japan's Abe agree to intensify trade talks
- 18.04.2018Castro nears retirement as Cuban president; successor proposed
- 18.04.2018Pompeo visits North Korea, forms 'good relationship with Kim', says Trump
- 18.04.2018Mike Pompeo, CIA chief, met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un
- 18.04.2018US, allies to be unable to dislodge Assad
- 18.04.2018Former First Lady Barbara Bush dies at the age of 92
- 17.04.2018Top NAFTA officials to meet in Washington Thursday
- 17.04.2018US-led coalition ready to share data with Russia on İSİL in Syria’s Abu Kamal
- 17.04.2018Syria says missiles fired at air base intercepted; Pentagon denies involvement
- 17.04.2018Trump administration delays new sanctions on Russia: official
- 17.04.2018U.S., Britain blame Russia for global cyber attack
- 30.12.2017Thousands of Peruvians march against Fujimori pardon
- 30.12.2017Trump says Russia probe will be fair, but timeline unclear
- 31.12.2017Ten people die after car crash in southwest Mexico
- 29.12.2017Apple apologises for slowing older iPhones down
- 29.12.2017At least 11 reported dead, 15 injured in New York City Fire - UPDATED
- 29.12.2017US condemns 'barbaric' suicide attack in Afghan capital