New York City 6-Alarm Fire Injures 9 And Leaves 89 Homeless

The Bronx borough of New York City was the site of a six-alarm blaze this past Thursday.

In the Tremont section of Bronx, New York, is an apartment building on Valentine Avenue. It was nearly 11 p.m. on Thursday, with people getting ready to bed down for the night or already asleep, when the fire broke out. From that building, the inferno tore through seven other homes. By roughly 2:30 a.m. Friday, the blaze had turned into a six-alarm fire.

“I was in the bedroom sleeping, then I heard a bunch of noise and racket,” Thomas Williams, one of the residents, told PIX11. “I thought it was neighbors arguing but then I saw a fireman telling me to get out.”

“I was so scared, I just run my kids out on the street, shoeless, with nothing, no sweater, nothing,” another resident, Giselle Marte, told NBC New York.

“Two weeks before Christmas, no one wants to go through this during holiday time, so it’s just a sad situation,” Crystal Perry, a neighbor of those affected by the disaster, also told NBC New York.

The fire spread so quickly because the homes were made predominately of wood. The New York City homes that surrounded the destroyed buildings were made of brick and only sustained minor damages because they were able to withstand the heat better.

Luckily, no one was killed in the disaster.

According to officials, nine people suffered injuries, including six firefighters. None of the injuries were life threatening.

Eighty-nine people were left homeless as a direct result of the fire, 15 of them were children.

The Red Cross offered housing in Manhattan, New York, hotels to any of the victims that found they had nowhere else to go. Most of the people displaced were able to find relatives to stay with, but 40 others took advantage of the temporary housing.

The New York City Fire Department tweeted a call to their firefighters five times on December 10 when the fire first broke out.

Upwards of 200 New York City firefighters responded to the call and it took until approximately 3:30 a.m. Friday to get the flames under control.

Although the fire was able to be controlled just hours after it began, the New York City Fire Department decided to keep firefighters on scene for over 24 hours more, to ensure the blaze did not ignite again. The caution proved to be unnecessary as the scene remained quiet after that.

A Con Edison crew arrived at the scene of the fire shortly after the blaze was extinguished. They worked through the night to shut down services to the buildings that could cause further issues. In the meantime, the New York City Fire Department has investigators working to try to figure out what started the fire.

Of the eight buildings affected by the fire, three were found to be salvageable according to New York City Councilman, Ritchie Torres. Torres told News12 that five of the buildings that sustained damage will have to be demolished in the coming months.

According to the New York City Fire Department, more than one-third of home fires occur between December and February. They posted a notice to their Twitter urging people to learn, understand, and exist by the safety rules regarding fire.

The link they offer in their post is directly targeting children and how they can help their parents avoid a tragic fire-related incident.

The site includes advice such as: “tell your parents to keep space heaters away from places where they might come in contact with water,” and “make sure a grown up is always near the stove when there’s food cooking.”

[Photo by FDNY]