The fire, the deadliest in the city in a quarter of a century, broke out on the first floor of a brick building and quickly spread upstairs, killing people on multiple floors, the New York City Fire Department said. Children without coats huddled on fire escapes as firefighters worked through icy conditions to bring the flames under control in about two hours. Four people remained hospitalized with critical injuries, "fighting for their lives right now", Mr.de Blasio said according to the New York Times. "It felt like we'd been living in a war zone", said Carole Van Duzer of Erie, Pennsylvania, which was buried this week under five feet of snow. Excluding the September 11 attacks, it was the worst fire in the city since 87 people were killed in an arson at a social club in the Bronx in 1990. "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.
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.. Like smoke up a chimney, the fire was sucked into the hallways, and the entire five-story building was engulfed within minutes.
Windows on some upper floors were smashed and blackened as the flames ripped through the building, which according to city records did not have an elevator.
The four family members were identified by Williams as her 19-year-old daughter Shawntay Young, her sister Karen Stewart, 37, and her two nieces-Kelly Francis, 6, and Kiley Francis, 2.
"Children starting fires is not rare", Nigro said.
Four found dead in suspected homicide in Troy, NY
Law enforcement sources told media outlets in Albany that the victims were all found tied up. Investigators remained at the scene Wednesday.
"I got scared and freaked out because I thought I was going to fall off the fire escape, but I tried my best", Martinez said.
"That's what I think, because it was in his nature", Kwabena said.
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. "The building is gone", he said.
The American Red Cross set up an aid station for survivors at a local high school, providing food, blankets, and other support, including temporary housing, to the displaced. A fire in a home in another part of the Bronx killed 10 people, including nine children, in 2007.
"I know there were concerns raised about the building itself", Mr de Blasio told WNYC. "But when you have this number of people pass as a result of a disaster like this, it's heartbreaking", de Vulpillieres said. The family, a husband and wife and four children, got out.