A massive apartment fire in the Bronx in New York has left at least 12 people dead, including a child, and others seriously injured, according to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's office.
Emmanuel Mensah, a 28-year-old who immigrated from Ghana five years ago, returned to his apartment for the first time after joining the Army a year ago, according to The New York Times. City fire commissioner Daniel Nigro said, "People died on various floors of the department, ranging in age from one to over 50".
Self-closing doors, which swing shut on their own to keep fires from spreading, were also supposed to have been installed, said city Housing Preservation and Development Department spokesperson Matthew Creegan.
Nigro said all the units in the building had fire alarms installed, but investigators were still trying to determine whether all of them were working.
Authorities said firefighters rescued 12 people from the building and four were in the hospital in critical condition.
Excluding 9/11, Thursday's fire was the city's deadliest since 87 people were killed at a social club in the same Bronx neighborhood in 1990.
Truly terrifying. A fire in an apartment building in the Bronx has already claimed a dozen lives as firemen frantically work to slow the raging inferno..
"I don't know what to think".
The blaze broke out on the first floor of a five-story building just before 7 p.m. and quickly tore through the roughly century-old structure near the Bronx Zoo. She said the last text she had gotten from her mother, who lives in the building, was that she was trapped in her third floor apartment.
ABC 30 reported that four victims from one family have been identified as: 19-year-old Shawntay Young, 37-year-old Karen Stewart Francis, and her two daughters, 2-year-old Kylie Francis and 7-year-old Kelesha "Kelly" Francis. "Come on now-I don't wish that on my worst enemy", she said.
The fire department said over 160 firefighters were on the scene. "I'm still in shock", he said.
"Then we got changed and went through the fire escape", Crisbel said.
"There's still around 10 families we have not connected with yet", said Michael de Vulpillieres, a Red Cross spokesman. "God rest their souls, they're attractive". "For me, that's like a sanctuary or a memorial".
"Disasters are traumatic even when there's not a loss of life". In the middle of the holiday season is a time when families are together.
In addition to the reports of one apartment's faulty smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, the city received four complaints about the building, since 2004.