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Deadly NYC fire lit by child playing with stove

31 December 2017, 01:00 | Clyde Nash

Deadly Bronx Fire Started by Child Playing with Stove

Bronx fire likely started by child playing with stove; four children confirmed as among 12 dead

Four children are among at least 12 people who have been killed in a fire at an apartment building in New York City.

"What we think at this point is that unfortunately it emanated from an accident, a young child playing with a stove on the first floor of the building", Mayor Bill de Blasio said in an interview with WNYC radio.

The child had a history of fiddling with the stove in his family's apartment, his mother told officials investigating the fire. "It took the fire so quickly upstairs that people had very little time to react", Nigro said. The blaze swept out the apartment doorway to higher floors of the five-story building, fanned by fresh oxygen each time frightened tenants flung open windows. "Fire!' So when I open my door and come out...when I look, it's a lot of smoke... by the time I get out, now my sister didn't come out in time behind me", she said.

She then rushed to the Jacobi Medical Center where she got the bad news, "That's when I find out they all dead".

When the mother fled the burning apartment with the boy and his 2-year-old sibling, she made a fatal mistake - she left the apartment door open. At least four others were injured. No one has been able find Mensah; his family has checked four hospitals. The official also said that all the smoke detectors were working properly and there was nothing structural in the building that contributed to the fire.

Batiz wrote on a Go Fund Me page that her mother, Maria Batiz, 57, called her at work to tell her that a fire had broken out in the building and she and the baby were trapped.

"I thought maybe he was coming back", said his father, Kwabena Mensah, according to CBS News. I ask all New Yorkers to keep them in your prayers, too.

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The Fire Department said that the blaze had since been brought under control. "We are hoping that it's him, one of them is him".

More than 160 fire fighters battled the blaze for hours on a bitterly cold day.

It was constructed in 1916 and had more than 20 units, according to property records cited by the newspaper.

"From what we know right now, there was not a problem with the building", de Blasio said.

"We get 75 to 100 referrals per year of children who are fascinated with fire, playing with fire", he said. He got that family out of the burning building safely before pulling four more people from the fire, said Twum Bredu, his uncle who lived next door.

The building is in the Belmont section of the Bronx, a primarily residential, close-knit neighbourhood known as the "Little Italy" of the borough, near Fordham University and the Bronx Zoo.



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