Politics

Bronx Apartment Fire: Child Playing With Stove Leads To The Death Of 12 People

The devastating fire that tore through the Bronx building has left 12 people dead, including 3 girls aged 1,2 and 7. Bronx Apartment Fire’s victims include 5 children and a 63-year-old lady. According to the fire department officials, the fire in the Bronx borough in New York started because of a child playing with a stove. The horrific incident is one of the worst in history of New York.

Bronx Apartment Fire
Image source: YouTube Video Screenshot

Bronx Apartment Fire is deadliest in New York in the last 25 years

Apparently, the incident began when the boy was playing with the burners on the stove, as he has a habit of. This time, everything got out of hand as the heat from the stove set the adjacent curtains ablaze. Evidently scared by the unraveling of events, the boy alerted his mother to the ongoing fire. The mother immediately left the apartment with the boy and his 2-year-old sister but made one grave mistake in the process. She left the apartment door open, dooming the people in the building for good.

The result was a rampaging fire which took the lives of 12 people, of which 5 were children. According to the New York Fire Department, this fire was the largest and deadliest in over 25 years. Although this statistic does indeed shed a light on the excellent fire security in New York, it still shows how devastating this Bronx apartment fire was.

A fatal mistake and the buildings design the main culprits

Although the child wasn’t supposed to be left unattended with the stove, the open door was a death sentence to the people in the building. This Bronx apartment fire was especially devastating due to the design of the building. It was built over 50 years ago, an age where the trend was to build corridors as narrow as possible. Such tiny stairways and corridors were a normal occurrence in housing projects, where rich landlords wanted to use their space in the best possible way.

The narrow spaces acted like chimneys and transported the fire to all the stories with ease. In such a fire unseen in New York for over 25 years, both civilians and firefighters were astonished by the speed with which the fire engulfed the entire housing complex.

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro stated that the unfortunate incident was further increased by the old walls that are quick to crumble under extreme heat. There are also reports that the 3-year-old from the first floor had a history of playing with the stove. It’s unclear why didn’t his mother warn him the first time he did it. It’s something that will yet be looked at.

He also stated that the most important thing about taking the steps during a fire is closing the door. With proper education, people should be able to think straight even when they’re fearing for their lives. In the moment of fear, the boy’s mother didn’t even think about the consequences, she just wanted to escape. The actions of “isolating” the fire are paramount when it comes to living in buildings or structures that are adjacent to others.

Additional reports state that not all smoke detectors were functional in the building, which is a big sign of concern. One city housing agency possesses records that state the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors on the first floor were broken months ago. What’s even more peculiar is the fact that there were absolutely no records of the detectors ever being fixed. Commissioner Nigro said he will look into the matter immediately.

Desperation in a time of happiness

Christmas lights were on all the surrounding buildings as five fire vehicles roared onto the scene. An even more eerie scene was an American flag that drifted in the wind, on a school across the road. As the fire started on the first floor, it quickly used the stairwell to reach the other floors, killing people on almost every one of the floors.

The first call about the fire came at 6:51 PM on Thursday, with more and more calls coming in every few seconds. The chief and his crew knew that something terrible was unfolding that night. The calls were diverse, as there were reports of victims jumping from the windows, clinging to the fire escape and babies trapped in various apartments.

Witnesses were in horror as they watched survivors screaming and climbing down on the fire escape. In total, seven civilians were injured, with an additional seven firemen being injured while saving people. A wholesome piece of news surfaced when the local school opened its doors for those left without a home due to the fire.

12 people in total were rescued, with much more escaping by themselves. All those rescued and who have escaped are expected to make a full recovery in the coming weeks. Further research on the scene is being conducted, says Commissioner Nigro.

Bronx Apartment Fire Horror

Although this Bronx apartment fire is horrific, there was one that was much worse. The infamous Happy land social club fire took place in 1990. There, 87 people lost their lives due to fire regulations that weren’t respected by the owners of the club. It was a deliberate act of arson, conducted by Julio Gonzales, wanting to kill his ex-girlfriend.

Another fire in the Bronx took place in 2007, killing 10 people, with 9 of them being children. Moreover, these fires happen rarely, but there are lots of building in the city premises that are not equipped with the latest fire safety equipment.

The building in which the fire occurred had 4 complaints against it, mostly for unsafe construction and other regulation breaches. These complaints were somehow ignored, and are going to be researched, according to Mayor de Blasio.

More briefings will occur in the subsequent period, as the scene is about to be scoured by fire technicians and experts alike.