According to city officials, New York City’s deadliest residential fire in decades spread through every floor of a Bronx apartment building within a matter of minutes, killing 12 people and injuring many others.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a briefing that the dead include a child around a year old, adding that four more people were fighting for their lives.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro called the fire, “historic in its magnitude,” because of the number of lives lost.
The blaze broke out on the first floor of a five-story building just before 7 p.m. and quickly tore through the roughly century-old structure near the Bronx Zoo.
Some tenants of the building, a mix of native New Yorkers and Latino and African immigrants, climbed down fire escapes. But the flames moved so fast that many never made it out of their apartments.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation. About 170 firefighters worked in bone-chilling cold, just 15 degrees, to rescue about a dozen people from the building.