Twelve people, including a one-year-old baby, died in a fire on a housing estate in the Bronx, New York, Thursday night.
The fire, the cause of which is still unknown, began around 7:00 pm on the ground floor of the four-storey building before spreading to the second floor and the entire building.
“I have the sad duty to tell you that 12 New Yorkers have died, including a one-year-old child,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We risk losing more people,” said de Blasio during a press briefing. “There are four very seriously injured people fighting death. ”
“It’s the worst fire we’ve seen in this city for at least a quarter of a century,” said the mayor, who quickly visited the scene.
The firefighters managed to save 12 people from the flames, but the searches of the 25-unit building continued. “People have died on different floors, and their ages range from 1 year to over 50,” said New York Fire Chief Daniel Nigo.
Two of the victims of the fire, according to American media, were found in a bathtub filled with water in which they seem to have tried to take refuge to escape the flames.
“This tragedy is undoubtedly historic in its magnitude,” said the fire chief.
About 170 firefighters fought the fire with intense cold. The water that came out of the water hoses quickly turned to ice, complicating the work of firefighters.
A local school has been transformed into a reception center for the victims.
In March 2007, 10 people were killed – also in the Bronx – in the fire of a house that housed two Malian families. This fire was the worst in the city, with the exception of the attacks of September 11, 2001, since 1990.