Over 60 people were injured Sunday, including 32 with “life-threatening and possibly fatal injuries,” when a five-alarm fire ignited at a Bronx apartment complex, according to the Fire Department of New York (FDNY).
According the officials, 17 people are dead, including 8 children. All of them died from smoke inhalation, a spokeswoman for the city’s Medical Examiner said.
The Fire Department had more than 200 firefighters respond to the fire that broke out on the third floor of the 19-story Twin Parks North West complex in West Bronz around 11 a.m. ET Sunday. A five-alarm is the largest response to a blaze. The fire department reported that the fire was under control as of 1:27 p.m. ET.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro told reporters there were 63 people were injured, 32 of whom were taken to local hospitals with “life-threatening injuries.” There were nine of those people with serious injuries. Nigro said most of the injuries came from people located on the upper floors, suffering from smoke inhalation.
“The fire started in a duplex apartment on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the building, Nigro said. The door to the apartment was left open, and smoke then spread to every floor of the building.”
Nigro added, “Firefighters were met by very heavy smoke and very heavy fire in the hallways. Victims were found in stairways on every floor of the building, many in cardiac arrest, in what could be an unprecedented loss of life. The injuries were predominantly from smoke inhalation.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams told reporters, “This is going to be one of the worst fires we have witnessed here in modern times in the city of New York.”
Dramatic pictures were posted to social media showing fire gushing out of multiple windows in the building.
Additional details, including the conditions of victims, were not immediately available. Check back as update will be reported when available.
Firefighters continued making rescues even after their air supplies ran out, Mayor Eric Adams said.
“Their oxygen tanks were empty and they still pushed through the smoke,” Adams said.
Jose Henriquez, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic who lives on the 10th floor, said the building’s fire alarms would frequently go off, but would turn out to be false.
“It seems like today, they went off but the people didn’t pay attention,” Henriquez said in Spanish.