Unsettling and eerie video footage shows the burned out hallway and stairwell inside the Bronx apartment building where 12 people died in a horrific fire on Thursday. "It started from a young boy, 3½ years old, playing with the burners on the stove", he said at a news conference.
The blaze broke out on the first floor of a five-story building just before 7 p.m. and quickly tore through the roughly century-old structure near the Bronx Zoo.
The fire commissioner said he's unsure whether all the smoke detectors were working in the building.
She then rushed to the Jacobi Medical Center where she got the bad news, "That's when I find out they all dead".
City officials said one of the children, a 1-year-old infant, was found in the bathtub with her mother. At least four others were injured.
"Because of FDNY's quick response, based on the information we have now, at least 12 people were rescued and will survive", de Blasio said.
In addition to the reports of one apartment's faulty smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, the city received four complaints about the building, since 2004.
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Some tenants of the building climbed down fire escapes, but the flames moved so fast that many never made it out of their apartments. "I heard a woman yelling, 'We're trapped, help!'" Not considering the possibility of a fire, Sakyi said she initially took off all of her clothes, but then went to the door to see what was happening. Francis' mother told the New York Times that 13 members of the family lived in the building. "We are hoping that it's him, one of them is him".
"That's my prayer", he said. More than 160 firefighters responded to the four-alarm blaze, the first arriving about 3 minutes after emergency calls came in.
The walk-up building contained 29 units, according to public property records.
"From what we know right now, there was not a problem with the building", de Blasio said. The cause of the fire was not immediately clear.
By the time the boy's mother was alerted to the fire, officials say the flames had spread too far. Investigators will look at whether the door to the apartment was defective or if an obstruction prevented it from closing, he said.
Emmanuel Mensah, a 28-year-old who immigrated from Ghana five years ago, returned to his apartment for the first time after joining the Army a year ago, according to The New York Times.
While the doors are required in any apartment building with more than three units, they sometimes do not work properly because they get clogged or dirty, NY fire-safety consultant Jim Bullock said.