The fire that broke out in an apartment building in the Bronx, New York, that killed 19 people on Sunday, is believed to have started in a heating element. – I saw from my window how ambulance personnel carried children on stretchers outside the house, Julie Fowler, who lives in the house, tells TT reporter on the site.
About twenty windows on the second and third floors of the house were shattered after it was ravaged by fire, and the covers drooped from many of them. Sanitation personnel in white protective suits move in and out of the building. Many of the house’s residents were evacuated to a nearby school.
In the rain outside the building, newly appointed New York Mayor Eric Adams and Fire Chief Daniel Nigro hold a press conference.
The fire appears to have started from a broken heating element in a bedroom, says Daniel Negro.
Julie Fowler, 45, was home with her two children when her sister called and said she had seen an app that monitored police calls that there was a fire in the house.
My daughter’s room faces the backyard and she saw flames from the third floor outside the window, says Julie Fowler standing outside the police barricades that circle the house.
We live on the ninth floor, so we stayed in the apartment. I heard people chanting “It’s burning, it’s burning!” My sister told me to stay in the apartment. The windows were open but the smoke was so thick that we closed them. My ten year old son has asthma and has started vomiting.
Julie Fowler recounts how she saw rescue workers remove children from home on stretchers.
– The fire alarm goes off all the time in this building, so no one takes it seriously, she says.
May stay in hotel
Julie Fowler’s 28-year-old daughter, Aisha Jones, was home in her Harlem apartment when she heard about the fire and got to the Bronx as quickly as she could.
– I didn’t understand my family and wondered if they were still alive. Thank God they managed without injuries.
– I spoke to the mayor and he said that those who live in the house will be allowed to stay in the hotels until it is safe to return.
Toray Adam, who lived in the building for 14 years but moved from there, was told that his cousin and his two children had died in the fire.
– It’s a terrible day. I used to have dinner with them here every week.
Firefighters found victims on all floors of the house and in the stairwells, says fire chief Daniel Nigro.
I have relatives across several floors in the house that I’m trying to get right now, says Toray Adam, who like many of the house’s residents is an immigrant from Gambia.
“Hard Working Families”
Anthony Bratten, 38, is a teacher at a school in the area and many of his former students live at home.
– I’ve tried to get as many of them as possible through social media. Most of them seem to have succeeded, but there are some that I haven’t been able to get through. He says I came here to see if I can help in any way.
Many of the home’s residents are low-income and immigrant.
The people I know at home are hard-working families, says Anthony Bratten.
The fire broke out on Sunday morning local time. It is believed that more than 60 people were injured in some way, by smoke or fire.
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