UPDATED: A Massive Fire Tears through Bronx Building Killing 12

On Thursday evening a fire broke out in New York City’s Bronx borough, by the time the flames had been extinguished 12 people were dead, many others were injured, and a few remained missing.

The fire began around 7pm and spread so quickly that most of the tenants who escaped the 25 apartment building, did so through their windows and down the fire escape ladders.

The fire stands to be the most deadly New York City blaze since 87 people perished in March 1990 in the infamous Happy Land social-club arson attack — which took place less than a mile away from the Prospect Avenue blaze.

About 170 firefighters worked on the blaze at the five-story building just a block from the Bronx Zoo, authorities said.

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“Based on the information now, I’m very sorry to report 12 New Yorkers are dead, including one child as young as one-year-old,” de Blasio said.

“There are four people critically injured who are fighting for their lives. Other serious injuries as well.”

From NY CBS:

The fire broke out on the first floor of a five-story building with 25 apartments at 2363 Prospect Ave., at East 185th Street just west of Bronx Park and the Bronx Zoo. The FDNY was called to the scene at 6:51 p.m. and arrived at 6:57 p.m., Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

The blaze was raised to three alarms and later to four, and the fire quickly spread upstairs through the building, Nigro said. And despite the best efforts of firefighters to revive those at the scene, it was too late.

Nigro said the people who died were on various floors of the building. He said the victims who died ranged in age from 1 to 50.

De Blasio said 12 others were rescued and will survive. But the search of the building continued late Thursday, and the mayor said, “We may lose others as well.”

About 170 firefighters responded to the scene, and were up against extreme cold as they fought the blaze. Temperatures were in the high teens Thursday night, with wind chills in the single digits.

Nigro said it was much too early to talk about any possible cause.

Authorities have not released any theories about the cause of the fire nor have they announced any timetable for such information to be made public. There are at least 4 victims in critical condition in area hospitals tonight, which means that this story is far from over.


Authorities are now saying that the fire began because of a 3-year old playing with a stove.

A 3-year-old boy’s screams alerted his mother that a fire had erupted in their first-floor apartment in the Bronx on Thursday night. The boy had been playing with the burners on the kitchen stove, New York City fire officials said Friday.

When the mother fled the burning apartment with the boy and his 2-year-old sibling, she made a fatal mistake — she left the apartment door open…

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, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said Friday.

Just a terrible accident.

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