Soldier dies after trying to rescue residents from Bronx fire

Soldier dies after trying to rescue residents from Bronx fire

A preschooler toying with the burners on his mother's stove accidentally sparked New York City's deadliest fire in decades, an inferno that quickly overtook an apartment building and blocked the main escape route, the fire commissioner said Friday.

Many questions remained in the immediate aftermath of the blaze, including how the fire spread so quickly in a brick building that was built after catastrophic fires at the turn of the 20th century ushered in an era of tougher enforcement of fire codes.

His mother grabbed him and his younger sibling, running outside to safety and leaving the apartment door open.

The apartment's stairway acted "like a chimney" as the fire burst from the apartment, feeding the flames and allowing them to spread throughout the building, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said Friday. "But when you have this number of people pass as a result of a disaster like this, it's heartbreaking", de Vulpillieres said. "They couldn't get back down the stairs".

The four family members were identified by Williams as her 19-year-old daughter Shawntay Young, her sister Karen Stewart, 37, and her two nieces-Kelly Francis, 6, and Kiley Francis, 2.

At least 14 families were homeless, and four of them were taken to hotels, according to the American Red Cross.

NY firefighters at the Bronx apartment fire scene. He was staying with a family that escaped the fire safely, but no one could find Mensah, despite checking four hospitals.

Video from the scene showed one man dressed in shorts trying to help firefighters maneuver a victim on a stretcher away from the building. "I couldn't carry the rest of them", Reyes told the Times. "I ask all New Yorkers to keep them in their prayers, too", de Blasio said.

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More than 160 firefighters responded to the four-alarm blaze.

According to city records, the building had no elevator.

No self-closing door violations were issued during an inspection in August, though the city would not have examined every apartment, Creegan said.

"In a department that's certainly no stranger to tragedy, we're shocked at this loss", he said on Twitter.

The New York Police Department said those who died included girls ages one, two and seven, and a boy.

Investigators say a young boy playing with a stove caused the deadly apartment fire.

"Close the door, close the door, close the door", Nigro said.

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.

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