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Worst NY fire in decades kills 12 in the Bronx

Worst NY fire in decades kills 12 in the Bronx

The blaze began on the first floor and spread rapidly throughout the five-floor walk-up on Prospect Avenue, with fire fighters on the scene within three minutes, department chief Daniel Nigro told reporters.

He said the fire service had managed to rescue at least 12 people from the building.

Children ages 1, 2 and 7 died along with four men and four women, local media reported. He cautioned against speculation while the fire department investigated the cause.

Authorities said firefighters rescued 12 people from the building and four people were in the hospital in critical condition.

A dozen people are dead after a fearsome fire swept through an apartment block in Little Italy late Thursday night.

The late Thursday fire was New York's deadliest since 87 people were killed in a 1990 inferno at a Bronx social club, The Times said.

More than 160 firefighters responded to the four-alarm blaze, the fire department said.

"I know there were concerns raised about the building itself", Mayor Bill de Blasio told WNYC.

Four children were among 12 people killed in a devastating fire that tore through a NY apartment building as terrified residents rushed to escape.

Norman Grindley
Norman Grindley

The blaze broke out on the first floor just before 7pm and quickly ripped through the roughly century-old structure.

"Displaced residents walked around draped in American Red Cross blankets".

"The hunt of the building proceeds with so we realize that despite the fact that it's appalling to report 12 are dead as of now, we may lose others too", the leader said.

Other residents are in a critical condition after a blaze NY fire commissioner Daniel Nigro described as "historic in its magnitude" broke out at around 7pm on Thursday local time.

"It is the time of year where people celebrate and certainly here we have people who have lost their lives, lost their homes, lost everything and we grieve with them as everyone in this city should and does".

The fire broke out around 6:51 pm (2351 GMT) Thursday in a 25-apartment building near the Bronx Zoo, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the U.S. financial capital.

Neighbourhood resident Robert Gonzalez, who has a friend who lives in the building, said she got out on a fire escape as another resident fled with five children.

Excluding the September 11 attacks, it was the worst fire in the city since 87 people were killed at a social club fire in the Bronx in 1990.

Luz Hernandez told the New York Times that her fourth floor apartment had filled with thick smoke.

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