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United States

New Bronx blaze hurts 23 – days after the NY borough suffered its worst fire in a quarter of a century

Residents were forced to flee into the sub-zero degree weather

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 January, 2018, 3:10am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 January, 2018, 4:07am

At least 23 people were injured Tuesday when fire raced through a Bronx flat – just five days after the 12 others died when the New York borough suffered the city’s worst fire in 25 years.

“Our units arrived and were immediately faced with heavy fire,” Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

As flames worked their way upward from a furniture store to the flats above, families, including children, were forced out into historically low winter temperatures.

One resident told NBC news that he fled the building, barefoot and bare-chested, along his three children into freezing temperatures that dipped as low as minus 10 degrees Celsius (minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit).

The 23 civilians – including nine children – and a firefighter were rushed to hospitals after the 7-alarm blaze, Nigro said.

Despite the severity of the blaze, he assured the public that none of the injuries were life threatening. “They will all be OK, thankfully,” he said.

Child playing with stove may have caused worst New York fire in 25 years

More than 200 firefighters battled the blaze in bitter cold temperatures, and icicles lined the power lines between the four-story building and the hosepipes used to douse the flames.

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear.

The building includes three floors of flats over retail spaces. The fire apparently started in a furniture store, Nigro said.

Barely four minutes after the emergency call, around 200 firefighters arrived in three dozen vehicles at 5.30am at a three-floor, red-brick building close to the Bronx Zoo.

At least nine people killed by record-breaking freeze that has gripped US and Canada

Five hours later, the fire crews were still fighting to control the blaze on the Bronx’s Commonwealth Avenue.

“Praying for a swift recovery for all those injured,” Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted.

“Thank you to the @FDNY and our first responders for fighting this fire throughout the night.”

The blaze came five days after a fire at another Bronx flat building killed 12 people, including four children.

The mayor said a child playing with a stove apparently touched off last week’s blaze.

Some residents were allowed to return to that building over the weekend to gather belongings. It was not clear when it would be habitable again.