Update: 3:20 pm Reports state at least 19 people are dead, including nine children, and the fire is considered to be one of the worst blazes in New York City history.
Update: 2:33 pm A 4-year-old died from the fire, police report. Fire officials have not confirmed any other fatalities.
More than 60 people were hurt, dozens with life-threatening injuries, in a massive fire that broke out at a high-rise apartment building in the Bronx, New York Sunday, January 9, 2022 officials said.
Officials say the five-alarm fire started in a duplex apartment on the third floor of a 19-story high-rise building at 333 East 181st Street in the Tremont section of the Bronx just before 11 a.m. Sunday.
In a press conference, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said 32 people were sent to hospitals in life-threatening conditions. The predominant injury for the 32 victims was severe smoke inhalation.
Nigro says he expects “numerous fatalities.” He also said children were among some of the injured.
“This is going to be one of the worst fires we have witnessed here in modern times in the city of New York,” Mayor Eric Adams said.
Firefighters arrived on-site three minutes after the initial fire call and were met with fire in the hallway of the building.
Victims were found in the stairwells, according to the commissioner, as smoke extended the height of the building.
Nigro noted that a door was left open, which allowed the fire and smoke to spread.
The 32 injured were transported to five different hospitals in the Bronx.
In total, at least 63 people were injured from the fire, including 32 people with life-threatening injuries, 9 people in serious condition, and 22 people with non-life-threatening injuries.
Officials say the fire has been knocked down as firefighters continue to work on the scene.
An investigation is underway but the fire commissioner says the fire is not suspicious.
This was the second major fire in the Bronx over the weekend. A 4-alarm fire in the Fordham Heights section of the Bronx that began early Saturday morning injured a firefighter and displaced three families, ABC New York station WABC reported. A lithium-ion battery sparked the fire, officials said.
Last week, a fire that broke out on the second story of a row house in Philadelphia killed 13 people, including seven children.