Inside deadly evacuation of Twin Parks North West: Terrified kids are filmed being led down stairwell as it’s revealed all 17 victims of the Bronx apartment blaze were killed by smoke inhalation
Video shows residents of the Bronx high-rise apartment complex where 17 people died after a fire broke out in a third-floor unit desperately evacuating as the building’s stairwells turned into smoke-filled chimneys.
The blaze, which investigators believe was started by a faulty space heater, caused toxic smoke to spread throughout the complex after the entry door to the unit where the flames ignited failed to automatically close – as it is designed to do – when the family residing inside fled. They all survived but another eight kids from inside the building, and nine adults, died.
Although flames never escaped the third floor, smoke poured into the building’s stairwells and, with a second door left open on a 15th-floor landing, rapidly swept throughout the complex.
Yesbely Fernandez, who lived on the 17th floor of 333 East 181st Street, captured video as crews arrived to the scene and firefighters stormed the building.
She and her loved ones then fled the complex, walking through blackened hallways and down a stairwell covered in smoke, fire hoses and standing water.
Yesbely Fernandez, who lived on the 17th floor of 333 East 181st Street, captured video as she and her loved ones fled the building after a fire broke out on the third floor, causing the apartment complex to fill with smoke
Fernandez continues videotaping as they walk through the blackened hallways of the building. They are seen carrying flashlights as the hallway is dark
Fire crews are pictured storming the complex Sunday, as seen from Fernandez’s 17th floor apartment
Photographs taken by DailyMail.com Monday of the complex’s interior showed the skeleton structure that remains of the unit where the blaze erupted. The residence, which once housed a family of nine, was heavily damaged, with a window blown out, and covered in ash and debris.
Mamadou Wague, who lived in the third-floor duplex apartment with his wife and eight children, said the doors in his unit – which are designed to close automatically – get stuck if pushed open too far.
‘When you push the door all the way to the edge, it didn’t close by itself,’ the West African immigrant father-of-eight told the Post.
‘I actually thought later that the door had shut, but the fire department people told me it had stayed open.’
City inspectors had previously cited the complex six times for failing to maintain the building’s self-closing doors. Management was issued the door-related citations between 2013 and 2019, the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) records obtained by the New York Post revealed.
A spokesperson for the owners told DailyMail.com the building currently has no open door-related complaints or violations.
Fire investigators, however, tested most of the doors in the building on Sunday and found Wague’s unit, as well as a handful of other units had doors that did not close automatically, as designed, officials confirmed to the New York Times.
The building spokesperson, in an email to 1010 WINS, said all doors in the complex, including Wague’s, are self-closing, as required by the law. They noted the lock on Wague’s door had been changed in July and, at that time, was found to be working.
Fire experts found several faulty self-closing doors in a Bronx apartment complex where a fire left 17 dead on Sunday. Investigators also believe the building’s older fire safety measures contributed to the spread of the fire
City inspectors cited the Bronx high-rise at least six times between 2013 and 2019 for failing to maintain self-closing doors in the complex. There was also a self-closing door complaint issued on Dec. 6, 2021
Debris is seen scattered across the 17th floor hallway at 333 E. 181st Street
A list of complaints against the property from the last month also detailed how residents complained about not having any heat. Although building officials state the complex was heated, the minimum temperature requirement in NYC is only 68 degrees Fahrenheit, which some residents claims is too cold.
Jose Dineo, who lives of the third floor with his three children, told DailyMail.com Tuesday that space heaters are necessary in the winter because the ‘building didn’t have good heat’.
‘I feel good with the heat in my apartment,’ Dineo, 40, said. ‘We have an electric heater because before the building didn’t have good heat.
‘Five years back the heat doesn’t work well. After three years they put in a new boiler. We feel good with the heat but still sometimes, on days like today, definitely we need to use an extra heater.’
Investigators believe the fire was started by one of several space heaters in Wague’s unit after it was left running uninterrupted for days. Smoke then spread throughout the complex after the apartment’s entry door failed to automatically close.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro claimed a door in the stairwell – which is meant to be used as an emergency exit – also failed to close, furthering the problem.
‘The stairwell was very dangerous as the door was left open and some of the floors — certainly on 15 — the door was open from the stairs to the hall and the 15th floor became quite untenable,’ Nigro said.
The fire at Twin Parks North West complex in the Bronx broke out in Unit 3N, where the nine-person Wague family resided. Their residence is pictured Monday, covered in ash and debris
The Wague family’s apartment is seen completely destroyed. Father Mamadou Wague said the blaze left his eight-year-old daughter trapped in her bedroom on a mattress engulfed in flames. He pulled his daughter out of the flames and managed to escape
The blaze is unit 3N was caused by a faulty space heater
The entire unit was damaged by the blaze
Records do, however, indicate the city issued six door-related citations to the building from 2013 to 2019, with two of violations specifically involving doors on the third and 15th floors.
A self-closing door at the third floor entrance to the building’s northern stairwell was flagged ineffective in March 2017, under the complex’s prior owners, and was not fixed until July 2020.
Also in March 2017, citations were issued for the self-closing doors in the trash compactor closets on the building’s third, sixth, 12th and 15th floors. Records show the landlord fixed those violations by May 2017.
Jose Dineo, who lives in the building, said he often uses a space heater because the complex is cold. He also shared that many residents ignore the smoke alarms because they sound frequently
There was also a self-closing door complaint made in December 2021.
When asked about the HPD citations, a building spokesperson told DailyMail.com: ‘The current owners purchased the property in January 2020 so the violations you are were incurred by the prior owners.’
‘There are no open complaints or violations related to doors currently according to HPD records,’ they added.
Despite this, malfunctioning doors still appear to be a common problem for residents of 333 East 181st Street, formerly known as Twin Parks North West.
Cookie Dennis, a 72-year-old residing in a unit on the third floor, claimed her door hasn’t ever shut properly in the nearly three decades she has lived in the building.
‘My door doesn’t self-close and never has,’ Dennis told the Post.
‘I have lived here 27 years, and I don’t ever remember the door closing by itself, you have to close it yourself.’
Also last month, the building received a complaint of ‘no heat’ in a sixth floor unit, even though the building allegedly had heat.
Congressman Ritchie Torres, whose district covers most of the South Bronx, told NBC New York that often times the city mandated temperatures do not meet residents’ needs.
‘Even if the landlord was requiring the legal minimum, what the law requires often falls short of what tenants need to remain warm in their apartments,’ he explained.
New York City’s worst fire disaster in more than 30 years that broke out on the second and third floor of a building at 333 East 181st Street in the Bronx has killed nine children and ten adults (pictured, people jump to safety from the burning building)
FDNY commissioner Daniel Nigro said that ‘very heavy’ fire and smoke ‘extended the entire height of the building.’ Firefighters were pictured rescuing residents from the blaze early on Sunday
Dineo, however, argued one of the biggest problems with the building is its sensitive smoke alarm system.
‘The only issue we have is the smoke alarm, almost every day – which is understandable because people smoke in the hallway, some people smoke in the stairs,’ he said.
‘On Sunday, we thought somebody smoked somewhere and the alarm started so we stayed in the house. The alarm would go off two or three times a week.’
‘What happened with the alarms is that they ignore them now because [they would go off] two, three times a week,’ echoed resident Carlos Reyes, 65.
‘So people started ignoring them, when they would go off they would just – there was somebody who said “I just bring up the volume on the TV because they were annoying and there was no fire.” So that caused people to ignore the alarms.’
Complex residents have also complained of roach and mice infestation and no water.
The building – which is owned by Bronx Park Phase III Preservation LLC, a consortium of three property developers; The Camber Property Group, Belveron Partners and the LIHC Group – was purchased along with seven others in late 2019 as part of a $160million deal on affordable housing in the Bronx.
The consortium bought it for just shy of $25million – which values each of the 120 apartments inside at $206,000.
The tenants are all households earning 60 percent of area median income. A family or household of four in the building earns, for example, $72,000 and generally their rent will be less than a third of that annual income – less than $2,000 per month.
A spokesperson for the consortium would not confirm how much tenants pay in rent at 333 East 181st Street when contacted by DailyMail.com on Monday.
Workers in protective clothing are pictured outside the complex Tuesday
Workers are pictured Tuesday sweeping up debris outside 333 East 181st Street
Rick Gropper of the Camber Property Group (left) is one of the owners of the building. He is also named as a contributor to Eric Adams’ housing transition team. The Camber Group partnered with LIHC Investment Group and Belveron Partners to buy the property in 2020. Belveron founder Paul Odland is shown, right
The developers paid a third less than the average sale price of homes in the Bronx, and a seventh of the average sale price of apartments in New York City when they bought the properties in 2019.
The owners charge tenants there less than the market rate for apartments in the area. They also receive subsidiaries from the local governments and enormous tax credits.
According to an announcement at the time they bought the properties, the developers said they intended to renovate.
Andrew (left) and Charlie Gendron (right) of the LIHC group, the third investor
It’s unclear if any renovations have yet begun.
The developers agreed to keep the properties within the city’s roster of affordable housing when they purchased them.
They said they would keep them affordable for the next 40 years at least.
One of The Camber Group’s founders is Rick Gropper, who was among hundreds listed as a contributor to new Mayor Eric Adams’ transition team in the housing department.
The others are Andrew and Charlie Gendron, of the LIHC Group, and Paul Odland of Belveron.
A spokesman for Bronx Park Phase III Preservation LLC, the group of investors who own the building, told The New York Times that the fire alarm system in the building was working on Sunday and that there were no outstanding concerns.
‘We are devastated by the unimaginable loss of life caused by this profound tragedy.
‘We are cooperating fully with the Fire Department and other city agencies as they investigate its cause, and we are doing all we can to assist our residents.
‘Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those who lost their lives or were injured, and we are here to support them as we recover from this horrific fire.’
FDNY investigators determined the fire was started after a space heater malfunctioned in a bedroom in Unit 3N. The heating unit – one of multiple in the residence – is believed to have been running uninterrupted for several days.
Fire experts have ruled the blaze accidental and said there will be no criminal charges filed against the family.
Wague recalled how his nine-person family fled the blaze: ‘I heard my kids screaming, “Fire! Fire!’ in their room.” I just got up and ran back there. I told them, “Everybody get out!” And everybody got out.’
The father made it downstairs to learn his eight-year-old daughter, Nafisha, was still in her bedroom.
‘I went back for my daughter,’ he told the Post. ‘I could only think about getting her out, getting her safe.’
‘I ran back up. There was fire everywhere, on the mattress, on my daughter. She had burns on her right side.’
The 47-year-old father pulled his screaming daughter from the burning bed, suffering burns to his lips and nose.
‘When there’s so much smoke and fire, all you can think is, “If I don’t get out of here, I will die,”‘ Wague explained. ‘I burned my face to get her out, and I didn’t even feel it until much later.’
Wague said Nafisha suffered burns but is alive. She and his wife remained hospitalized Monday. Their current conditions are unknown.
Man who helped fire victims get to hospital mourns loss of his brother and sister-in-law who leave behind four orphaned children
A man who helped transport victims of the Bronx apartment fire to nearby hospitals is mourning the loss of his brother and sister-in-law, who leave behind four children.
Yusupha Jawara lost his brother Hagi Jawara, 41, and sister-in-law Isatou Jabbie, 31, in Sunday’s inferno that left 17 dead and dozens wounded.
Jawara, 46, is now waiting for an ‘appropriate’ time to tell to tell his two nephews and two nieces, whose ages range from six to 15, that their parents have died.
‘Right now, we are trying to get the bodies and arrange the funerals and how to break the news to [the children],’ Jawara told the New York Post. ‘Then, as a family, we will sit down together and figure out what will happen next.’
The four children were in Gambia visiting relatives at the time of the fire.
‘We don’t want to put it out to them just like that,’ he said, adding: ‘Isatou loved her kids to death. The kids were her life.’
Yusupha Jawara lost his brother Hagi Jawara, 41, (pictured) and sister-in-law Isatou Jabbie, 31, in Sunday’s inferno that left 17 dead and dozens wounded
Yusupha said Hagi and Isatou (pictured) leave behind four children. He claims Isatou’s children ‘were her life’ and she ‘loved them to death’
Jawara, who lived nearby, rushed to the complex Sunday morning to assist transporting injured residents to St. Barnabas Hospital.
He said he initially hadn’t given much thought to Hagi and Isatou’s whereabouts, thinking they would be safe as they had lived on the 18th floor, far from the fire that started 15 stories below.
‘Their neighbors on the higher floors never came out and they were safe, so I thought that maybe my brother also was safe in the apartment,’ Jawara said.
However, as the day wore on, he said the couple did not answer his phone calls and his concern grew. He later found out they were among those who died of smoke inhalation.
Jawara believes he may have seen his brother being carried on a gurney.
‘I was just helping the EMS transport one person to the hospital when I saw him – somebody similar like him – on a stretcher being brought to the ER,’ Jawara recalled Tuesday as his family began making funeral plans for their loved ones. ‘At that time, I didn’t have the focus to know that it was him.’
Hagi fled to the United States in the 1990s as a refugee during the civil war in his homeland of Sierra Leone. He later married Isatou, a Gambian woman who worked as a home-health aide and whose family had settled in the Bronx.
Jawara described his brother as a ‘jovial, kind-hearted and religious man’.
‘He was always smiling and laughing with everyone, never had a disagreement with anybody,’ he told the Post.
Although flames damaged only a small part of the building, smoke poured through the apartment’s open door, turning stairwells into death traps.
The heavy smoke blocked some residents from escaping and incapacitated others as they tried to flee.
Firefighters carried out children and gave them oxygen and continued their rescue efforts even after their air supplies ran out.
Seventeen were confirmed dead, including children as young as five. Dozens of people were taken to hospital, including several who were in a critical condition.
New York mayor Eric Adams called the blaze an ‘unspeakable tragedy’ at a news conference near the scene on Monday.
‘This tragedy is not going to define us,’ Adams said. ‘It is going to show our resiliency.’
PICTURED: Mom, her young son and two daughters killed in Bronx apartment block blaze as well as husband and wife who also perished in the flames, as stricken families share snaps of the missing
A New York City woman lost her sister, two nieces and a nephew in the Bronx apartment block fire that killed 17, with stricken families also sharing photos of their missing loved ones in the hopes of tracking them down.
Fatoumata Drammeh, 50, was killed in the fire, her grieving sister Koumba told DailyMail.com, as well as her three children: daughters Fatoumala, 21, and Aisha, 19, as well as son Mohammed, 12.
‘They’re such a nice people, they’re so lovely,’ said Koumba Drammeh of her sister, nieces and nephews. ‘We’re gonna miss them a lot.’
The inferno also took the lives of a family of five, whose ages ranged from five to 49.
Haji Dukuray, of Delaware, confirmed Monday the deaths of his 49-year-old nephew, who bares the same name, his wife, Haja Dukureh, 37, and their three children: Mustapha Dukuray, 12, Miriam Dukuray, 11, and Fatoumata Dukuray, 5.
Dukuray told New York Daily News is in contact with family in Gambia and working to determine next steps: ‘The first step of closure for us is trying to retrieve the bodies.’
‘In some cases we will bury the dead here. In some cases, we may fly them back to The Gambia,’ he added.
Additionally, a husband and wife have been named as victims of the blaze.
The deaths of Hagi Jawara, 41, and his wife Isatou Jabbie, 31, were confirmed Monday evening by Hagi’s brother, Yusupha Jawara.
Other family members and friends have shared photos of their loved ones online, in a desperate bid to track them down after Sunday’s blaze at the Twin Parks North West Complex in the New York borough, which was triggered by a space heater.
Fatoumata Drammeh (pictured), 50, was killed in the fire, her sister Koumba told DailyMail.com, who said that she and her family were ‘such lovely people’
Fatoumata’s 12-year-old son Muhammad was the youngest member of the family to lose his life in the Bronx apartment building fire
Friends posted photos on Instagram stories asking for the whereabouts of the Drammeh family – mother Fatou and her daughter, Aisha and son, Muhammad – who have been missing since the fire
Isatou Jabbie, 31, and husband Hagi Jawara, 41, were confirmed dead Monday after the Bronx apartment building fire by Jawara’s brother Yusupha
Dorel Anderson and her boyfriend Ramel Thompson were both in the apartment building during the fire and reported missing. Anderson, who has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair, was visiting Thompson at the time of the fire. She has been found. Thompson’s whereabouts remain unknown
NBC New York reported that a police official had named the children killed in the blaze as Fatoumata Dukureh, aged 5, Mariam Dukureh, aged 11, five year-old Hawa Mahamdou, Mustapha Dukyhreh, who was 11, Omar Jambay, six, and Toure Seydou, who was 12.
Family members and neighbors are continuing to desperately search for any evidence of their missing relatives and friends in the wake of the apartment fire that was set after a faulty space heater set it alight and tore through the Bronx block killing eight children and nine adults.
Dorel Anderson and her boyfriend Ramel Thompson were reported missing after having been unaccounted for after residents evacuated the apartment building.
Anderson, who has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair, was visiting Thompson, a resident, at the time of the fire.
Her cousin, Lonell Sessoms, confirmed on Facebook that Anderson has since been found at an area hospital. She is ‘intubated but alive’.
It is unclear if Thompson has yet been found.
The list of the missing was announced as an immigrant father has revealed he leaped through flames to save his eight children.
The death toll, originally reported as 19, was revised downwards to 17 on Monday. Addressing the reduced death toll, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said patients had been taken to seven different hospitals in the city, which led to ‘a bit of a double count’.
Fire experts, attributing smoke to the fatalities, believe a self-closing door in the Twin Parks North West complex may have malfunctioned, allowing the smoke to spread through the building.
‘The fire was contained to the hallway just outside this two-story apartment, but the smoke travelled throughout the building and the smoke is what caused the deaths and the serious injuries,’ Nigro said during a press conference Monday.
Some of the broken windows from a fire where a space heater caught fire and caused the devastation in the Bronx
Some of the items that caught on fire in apartment 3N
Mamadou Wague, who lived in Unit 3N with his wife and children, recalled how he was woken by his children screaming ‘fire’ and then found his eight-year-old daughter, Nafisha, screaming and trapped on a burning mattress in her bedroom.
‘I just grab her and run,’ the west African immigrant told the New York Times. ‘I didn’t think about anything except getting her out.’
Wague, 47, pulled his daughter from the burning bed, suffering burns to his lips and nose, and escaped the unit with his family. Nafisha sustained burns but is alive.
Fire Marshals ruled the fire ‘accidental,’ noting that it was caused by a malfunctioning space heater and that a ‘smoke alarm was present and operational’.
A New York City official, who spoke to the newspaper on the condition of anonymity, revealed fire marshals suspect the space heater had been running uninterrupted for multiple days. According to a list of resident maintenance requests shared online, building received at least four complaints last year of units being without heat. It is unclear if Unit 3N was having an issue with heat.
Officials believe the fire spread so rapidly because Mr Wague left his apartment door open as he fled for his life with his kids.
Mayor Eric Adams said there may have been a ‘maintenance issue,’ as it was supposed to close automatically. He told CNN: ‘The doors in the building did have self-closing mechanisms. We are just looking at that specific door.’
However, Andrew Ansbro, president of the FDNY Uniformed Firefighters Association Union, said the 49-year-old building was poorly equipped to deal with a fire.
‘It was at a building that was built under federal guidelines way back when, so it’s not up to New York City fire codes,’ he told the New York Daily News.
It has no fire escapes and stairwells meant to be used as emergency exits quickly filled with smoke, along with floors where stairwell doors were left open.
Large, new apartment buildings in the city are required to have sprinkler systems and interior doors that swing shut automatically to contain smoke and deprive fires of oxygen, however those rules don’t apply to older buildings.
Many residents ignored the fire alarms when they went off on Sunday because they sound so frequently as false alarms.
‘First we heard the fire alarm go off. Numerous times,’ said Michael Joseph, 32, who lived on the sixth floor with his uncle. But we didn’t think nothing of it, because normally people in the building, they smoke and tend to set it off. So we thought it was probably just people playing.’
The apartment complex was purchased for $24,675,000 in 2020 by a group of investors, including Camber Property Group. Rick Gropper, a co-founder and principal at Camber, was one of the nearly 800 individuals named last month to the new mayor’s transition team.
Pope Francis offered his condolences Monday to the victims of the ‘devastating’ apartment fire. In a telegram sent to New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan he offered ‘heartfelt condolences and the assurance of his spiritual closeness’ to those affected by the blaze.
Firemen stand at the scene of a fire at a multi-level apartment building in the Bronx on Monday
Workers clean up at the scene of a fire at a multi-level apartment building in the Bronx on Monday
Some of the items that caught fire at 333 East 181st Street in the Fordham Heights area of the Bronx
The five-alarm blaze is New York City’s deadliest in three decades. President Joe Biden, speaking with Mayor Adams Monday, offered his ‘heartfelt condolences and support’ to the victims, city leaders and residents. Biden told the mayor any resources the city needs will be made available.
Although the flames only damaged a small portion of the building, smoke escaped through the Wague family’s open door and flooded the stairwells – the only method of escape as the building was too tall for fire escapes – with ash.
Some people could not escape because of the volume of smoke, while others became incapacitated as they tried to flee. Several residents said the fire alarms in the building are always going off so they ignored them.
While there have not been any major building violations or complaints listed against the building, according to city building records, however it was reportedly not up to code.
Public records show the building has open violations for cockroach and mouse infestations, lead paint and water leaks, however no structural violations were listed.
The New York Post reported there were more than two dozen violations and complaints at the building since 2013 – despite $25 million in state loans for repairs.
The Twin Parks North West complex is classified as a D1 building, according to Street Easy. The classification designates the complex as an elevator apartment building that is semi-fireproof and without stores.
D1 buildings can be found in all five boroughs of New York City and account for about 29 percent of complexes in the Bronx, Property Shark reported.
Investigators determined a malfunctioning electric space heater started the fire in the 19-story building, leaving victims on ‘every floor.’
Eight children were among at least 17 people killed and 63 injured in Sunday’s inferno. Dozens of residents were hospitalized, several in critical condition, and doctors were continuing efforts to save victims live on Monday.
The mayor said it’s likely the death toll could rise.
‘We pray to God that they’ll be able to pull through,’ Mayor Adams said during a CNN interview Monday morning.
Firefighters respond to a five-alarm blaze that broke out in the Bronx on Sunday
Clean-up and recovery workers are seen Monday cleaning in front of a Bronx apartment building a day after a fire swept through the complex
At least 200 firefighters responded to the scene, some arriving within minutes of the initial call for help. As they entered the building, the first responders were met with flames in the hallway.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said an investigation was underway to determine how the fire spread and whether anything could have been done to prevent or contain the blaze.
Adams said it appears the smoke spread due to a door that was supposed to automatically close being open.
‘There may have been a maintenance issue with this door. And that is going to be part of the .. ongoing investigation,’ Adams said on Good Morning America.
The mayor said the fire crews continued rescue measures even after running out of oxygen.
‘Their oxygen tanks were empty and they still pushed through the smoke,’ he explained, noting that icy conditions made it difficult for firefighters to put out the blaze.
Jay Jimenez, who lives in the building next door, said he went into the building to help rescue trapped residents. He said he helped ‘a lot’ of people make it to safety, but also recalled the horrifying moments he carried deceased victims out of the building.
‘I was just focused on the mission,’ Jimenez, 35, told DailyMail.com on Monday. He said he helped the fire department as they brought victims to the lobby: ‘I pulled them out, while they bring them through the stairs and out the front lobby and I just took them by the knees and brought them all the way outside.’
He added: ‘I couldn’t sleep last night – I haven’t slept. I feel sad. I got kids. I saw a three-year-old completely dead and that’s in my mind. I am not the same. It’s really sad.’
Jimenez also applauded the ‘hero’ first responders who risked their lives to help the trapped residents.
‘The impact of this fire is going to really bring a level of pain and despair in this city,’ Mayor Adams said during a press conference early on Sunday, shortly after the blaze was extinguished.
‘The numbers are horrific. We have over 32 people who are life-threatening at this time. This is going to be one of the worst fires we have witnessed in the City of New York in modern times.’
Sunday’s blaze came just days after a Philadelphia house fire killed 12 people, including eight children.
That was the deadliest fire at a U.S. residential apartment building since 2017, when 13 people died in an apartment in the Bronx, according to data from the National Fire Protection Association.
That fire started after a three-year-old boy was playing with stove burners.
The deadliest fire prior to that was in 1989 when a Tennessee apartment building fire claimed the lives of 16 people.
NEW YORK CITY’S DEADLIEST FIRE DISASTERS
At least 17 people died on Sunday when a five-alarm fire erupted in a 19-story building in the Bronx.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro and Mayor Eric Adams described the fire as ‘NYC’s worst in 30 decades. ‘The impact of this fire is going to really bring a level of pain and despair in this city,’ Adams said.
We’re taking a look at some of the worst fire disasters in the recent history of the Big Apple.
March 25, 1990/West Farms, The Bronx – Eighty-seven people died trapped in the Happy Land social club after an unemployed refugee, whose girlfriend worked at the club, set the base of the staircase – the only point of access to the club – on fire with $1 worth of gasoline.
Bodies are covered along the sidewalk in front of the Happy Land Social Club in the Bronx following a fire in the windowless-second floor room
The charred facade of the Happy Land social club in the Bronx section of New York City is pictured in 1990
December 28, 2017/ Belmont, The Bronx – A fire in the Belmont apartment of the Bronx killed 13 people and injured 14 others. At the time it became New York City’s deadliest fire in 25 years. It erupted when a 3-year-old played with the burners of the fire stove on the first floor of the building. As the mother desperately removed her children from the apartment, she accidentally left the door open, allowing the fire to spread.
A fire Department of New York (FDNY) personnel works on the scene of an apartment fire is in the Bronx borough of New York City is seen on December 29, 2017
March 7, 2007/Highbridge, The Bronx– The fire was started by a space heater’s electrical cord. it killed nine children and one adult. The building owner lost his five children. Another man lost his wife and four children.
Fire department and police vehicles sit at the scene of a 3-alarm blaze that claimed the lives of 9 people, including 8 children, in an apartment building Thursday, March 8, 2007
Charred wreckage sits piled at the scene of blaze that claimed the lives of 9 people, including 8 children, in a 4-story apartment building Thursday, March 8, 2007
April 23, 2017/ Queens Village, Queens– The fire at 112-16 208th St in Queens Village killed five people, including four children. A person driving by spotted the flames and alerted police. The fire was raised to three alarms before being stopped.
New York Fire Department personnel stand outside the scene of a deadly fire Sunday, April 23, 2017, in Queens Village in New York
October 4, 2015/Borough Park, Brooklyn – An intentional building explosion and fire in Brooklyn left two dead and eight injured after a tenant who was late on rent poured gasoline in the stairwell of the three-story building.
View of 13th Avenue and damaged cars in front of burned out storefront