New York fire injures 23, including nine children

Firefighters battle a 7-alarm fire in the Bronx borough of New York City on Jan 2, 2018.
Firefighters battle a 7-alarm fire in the Bronx borough of New York City on Jan 2, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - A fire destroyed a building and injured 23 people in New York on Tuesday (Jan 2), just days after the city's deadliest inferno in a quarter of a century.

The blaze broke out in The Bronx, the same northern borough where last week's fire claimed 12 lives.

"Our units arrived and were immediately faced with heavy fire. Numerous people were brought out of the building by the firefighters on scene," said New York City fire chief Daniel Nigro.

"Our units arrived and were immediately faced with heavy fire. Numerous people were brought out of the building by the firefighters on scene," said New York City fire chief Daniel Nigro.

"They've all been transported, and they will all be okay, thankfully," he said, noting there were at least nine children among the injured.

But a spokesman for the fire department later told AFP that four of the injured were in a life-threatening condition. A firefighter was listed among the 19 people suffering minor injuries.

The fire left 11 families, including 29 adults and 11 children, homeless.

 

Barely four minutes after the emergency call, around 200 firefighters arrived in three dozen vehicles at 5.30 am at a three-floor, red-brick building close to the Bronx Zoo.

It took the fire crews eight hours to control the blaze on the Bronx's Commonwealth Avenue. The fire broke out in a furniture factory on the ground floor of the building and spread quickly.

One resident told NBC news he fled the building, barefoot and bare-chested, with his three children into freezing temperatures that dipped as low as minus 10 deg C.

"Praying for a swift recovery for all those injured," said Mayor Bill de Blasio on Twitter, thanking the fire department for its response.

Last Thursday, another fire at an apartment block close to the Bronx Zoo was started by a three-year-old boy who was playing with stove burners. That inferno killed 12 people, four of them children.

De Blasio called it the "worst fire tragedy we have seen in this city in at least a quarter century."