New York has suffered the most tragic fire in a quarter of a century, which caused at least twelve deaths according to official data, although the death toll may be higher because more people are still being sought among the remains of the affected building.
The fire was registered in the Bronx district, with a strong Latino presence. At least one of the deceased is a one-year-old boy, according to the mayor of the city, Bill de Blasio, speaking to reporters at the scene.
The deceased have ages between one year and 50, authorities said, but it is not known how many of them are minors. The identity of the people who were killed has not been facilitated at the moment.
“This is the most tragic fire we’ve seen in the city in at least a quarter of a century”, said the mayor, who was accompanied by officials from the fire department and the police.
“According to the information we have, it is the worst case of loss of life due to a fire in many, many years”, added the highest municipal authority. The fire broke out on the ground floor of the Prospect Avenue building in the Bronx. The firefighters arrived at the site three minutes after the fire started and managed to extinguish it two hours later.
About 170 of its officers were deployed to fight the fire. The flames spread rapidly through the building, near the Bronx Zoo, and reached the fifth floor. The victims were in different plants, said Nigro.
According to some witnesses, the fire originated in a sector of the building where the garbage containers are located. De Blasio said the death toll is still preliminary, because an hour after the fire was controlled, rescue teams continued to search for possible victims. The mayor said that 12 people could be rescued. In addition to the deceased, there are an undetermined number of injured people, among them four in a very serious condition who are fighting for their lives.