The scream’s heard from a 3-year-old child, alerted his mother that a fire has erupted in the kitchen. The mother walks in to find that he had been playing with the stove knobs again. A situation far too frequent. By the time the mother had fled the apartment with the boy and his 2- year old sibling she neglected to realize that she made the fatal mistake of leaving her apartment door ajar.
The fire quickly consumed the hallway of the five-story building in the Bronx Thursday night. Confronted with the inferno in the hallway, residents on higher floors retreated to their fire escapes giving the fire even more oxygen. Those along the side and back of the building, where the fire began, could not react in time get to their fire escape. The stairwell becoming in effect a “like a chimney” as the fire flowed from the apartment, feeding the flames and allowing them to spread throughout the building, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said Friday.
The tragic incident resulted in the death of 12, including 4 children, the New York Police Department said. This made the fire at 2363 Prospect Avenue the deadliest fire in New York for the past 27 years. Along those dead, four other individuals were critically injured and are “fighting for their lives right now,” said Mayor Bill deBlasio on Friday.
The first responders to the fire were unable to get water from the closest hydrant due to the water being frozen. The fire took place on the coldest night of the year.
The occasion prompted safety officials to remind New Yorkers that open doors hasten the spread of flames.
“Close the door, close the door, close the door,” the fire commissioner, Daniel A. Nigro, said at a news conference on Friday.
The fire commissioner stated that he is unsure whether all of the smoke detectors in the building were working. According to records from a city housing agency, one of the apartments on the buildings first-floor reported a defective smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors. However, it is unknown whether those issues were resolved or played a part in this. It seems that nothing structural about the building contributed to the deadly conditions created by the fire said Nigro. The building had a “relatively low history of repair violations,” a spokesperson for New York City Housing Preservation and Development said.