NEW YORK (AP) – Nineteen people, including 9 children, have been killed in an apartment fire in New York City, in what the city’s Fire Marshal has called one of the worst fires in recent memory.
Stefan Ringel, senior adviser to Mayor Eric Adams, confirmed the death toll to The Associated Press on Sunday, while a city official who was not authorized to speak publicly confirmed the number of dead children.
More than five dozen people were injured and 13 people were still in critical condition in hospital, Ringel said. The majority of the victims suffered from severe smoke inhalations, FDNY commissioner Daniel Nigro said at a press conference earlier in the afternoon.
According to the FDNY, about 200 firefighters responded to the scene of the Bronx Twin Park Apartments, a 19-story building on East 181st Street.
Firefighters “found victims on every floor and brought them out in cardiac and respiratory arrest,” Nigro said. âIt’s unheard of in our city. We expect there will be many deaths. “
According to Nigro, Sunday’s fire started in a duplex apartment spanning the second and third floors. Firefighters found the apartment door open, he said, which apparently allowed the fire to accelerate and quickly spread smoke upwards.
The fire is not believed to be of suspicious origin, but the cause is under investigation.
Sunday’s fire comes just days after a house fire in Philadelphia left 12 people dead, including eight children.