Thursday’s Bronx fire that scorched a century-old apartment building has already resulted in at least 12 confirmed deaths, including that of a baby, making it New York City’s deadliest blaze in decades, a new report revealed.
Official updates from the New York Times said that at least 12 people were confirmed dead during the Bronx apartment building fire, while four more were injured. Citing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, the outlet also added two victims who sustained non-life-threatening injuries to the list of casualties in the destructive blaze. Based on breaking news update from the Associated Press, the death toll included a baby.
According to the New York Post, the deadly blaze erupted at 2363 Prospect Avenue at around 7 p.m. and quickly escalated into a four-alarm fire. The New York City Fire Department immediately rushed to the scene, bringing over 160 fire fighters to extinguish the raging fire.
Citing a witness identified as Xanral Collins, the outlet revealed the possibility that little children were engulfed in the flames as he recounted the moment he saw a father trying to save his “babies.”
“A father ran into the building, he couldn’t get in. I saw him screaming, ‘My babies are dead! My babies are dead!’”
Jamal Flicker, another eyewitness, said he saw the source of the fire.
“It started down where they take the garbage. The smoke was crazy, people screaming, ‘Get out!’ I heard a woman yelling, ‘We’re trapped, help!’” Flicker told the New York Post.
Several children were believed to have been left inside the five-story building during the fire, as a woman who refused to be named told the New York Times how she was able to escape the blaze with her daughter and two of the neighbor’s children in tow.
“I had one on my front and one on my back,” she said.
“I couldn’t carry the rest of them.”
According to the New York Times‘ report, an emergency call was placed at 6:51 p.m., reporting a fire in an apartment building in 2363 Prospect Avenue.
The NYC Fire Department revealed that the fourth alarm had been reached just one hour after the call was received. Mayor Bill de Blasio told the press that the Fire Department declared “fire out” at about 10 p.m., although they have yet to determine what sparked it.
Displaced fire victims from the 200-unit apartment were draped with American Red Cross blankets to protect them from the bitter cold of the night. They were directed to a nearby school for temporary shelter, de Blasio said in a press conference.