NATIONAL NEWS

Several with grave injuries after NYC fire that killed 19

Jan 10, 2022, 5:13 AM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 3:42 pm

Emergency first responders remain at the scene of an intense fire at a 19 story residential buildin...

Emergency first responders remain at the scene of an intense fire at a 19 story residential building that erupted in the early morning hours on January 9, 2022 in New York City. Reports indicate over 20 people were seriously injured after the fire broke out Sunday morning in the 19-story building. (Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images)

(Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — Doctors worked Monday to save the lives of several people gravely injured when smoke from a fire knocked them out or trapped them in their apartments in a New York City high-rise building. Nineteen people, including nine children, died in the blaze.

Dozens of people were hospitalized, and as many as 13 were in critical condition after Sunday’s fire in the Bronx, already the city’s deadliest in three decades.

Investigators determined that a malfunctioning electric space heater, plugged in to give extra heat on a cold morning, started the fire in the 19-story building.

The flames damaged only a small part of the building, but smoke escaped through the apartment’s open door and turned stairwells — the only method of flight in a building too tall for fire escapes — into dark, ash-choked horrors.

Some people could not escape because of the volume of smoke, said Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro. Others became incapacitated as they tried to get out. Firefighters found victims on every floor, many in cardiac and respiratory arrest, said Nigro.

Limp children were seen being given oxygen after they were carried out. Some who fled had faces covered in soot.

Firefighters continued making rescues even after their air supplies ran out, Mayor Eric Adams said.

“Their oxygen tanks were empty and they still pushed through the smoke,” Adams said.

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.

The building is equipped with smoke alarms, but several residents said they initially ignored them because alarms were so common in the 120-unit building.

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, but those rules don’t apply to thousands of the city’s older buildings.

Building resident Sandra Clayton grabbed her dog Mocha and ran for her life when she saw the hallway fill with smoke and heard people screaming, “Get out! Get out!”

Clayton, 61, said she groped her way down a darkened stairway, clutching Mocha. The smoke was so black she couldn’t see, but she could hear neighbors wailing and crying nearby.

“I just ran down the steps as much as I could but people was falling all over me, screaming,” Clayton recounted from a hospital where she was treated for smoke inhalation.

In the commotion, her dog slipped from her grasp and was later found dead in the stairwell.

Jose Henriquez, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic who lives on the 10th floor, said the building’s fire alarms would frequently go off, but would turn out to be false.

“It seems like today, they went off but the people didn’t pay attention,” Henriquez said in Spanish.

He and his family stayed, wedging a wet towel beneath the door once they realized the smoke in the halls would overpower them if they tried to flee.

Luis Rosa said he also initially thought it was a false alarm. By the time he opened the door of his 13th-floor apartment, the smoke was so thick he couldn’t see down the hallway. “So I said, OK, we can’t run down the stairs because if we run down the stairs, we’re going to end up suffocating.”

“All we could do was wait,” he said.

The fire was New York City’s deadliest since 1990, when 87 people died in an arson at the Happy Land social club, also in the Bronx. The borough was also home to a deadly apartment building fire in 2017 that killed 13 people and a 2007 fire, also started by a space heater, that killed nine.

___

Associated Press reporters Michael R. Sisak and Jennifer Peltz in New York and Andrew Selsky in Salem, Oregon, contributed to this report.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

Snow in Little Cottonwood Canyon...

Scott Sonner and Stefanie Dazio, Associated Press

Stretch of I-80 shut down as monster blizzard dumps snow on mountains in California and Nevada

California authorities shut down 100 miles of Interstate 80 on Friday as the biggest snow storm of the season bore down on the Sierra Nevada.

4 hours ago

FILE: Ballots are counted by Maricopa County Elections Department staff ahead of Tuesdays election ...

Associated Press

Arizona’s new voting laws that require proof of citizenship are not discriminatory, a US judge rules

A U.S. district judge has ruled Arizona legislators did not discriminate when they adopted laws requiring counties to verify the status of registered voters who haven’t provided proof of U.S. citizenship.

4 hours ago

Boeing fuselages leave the supply line for further construction....

Chris Isidore and Gregory Wallace, CNN

Boeing wants to buy back the company that builds the body of its troubled Max planes

Boeing said it is in talks to buy Spirit AeroSystems, a major supplier that was part of Boeing until a 2005 sale and one that was also involved in an Alaska Airlines mid-air door plug blowout.

6 hours ago

A killer whale known as Starboard preys on a great white shark in June off the South African coast,...

 Katie Hunt, CNN

A lone orca slayed a great white in less than two minutes. Scientists say it could signal an ecological shift

A pair of orcas have been killing great whites along a stretch of South African coastline.

7 hours ago

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 28: Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, listens as his attorne...

Farnoush Amiri and Lisa Mascaro, Associated Press

Takeaways from Hunter Biden’s combative deposition with Republican lawmakers

The transcript of the congressional deposition of Hunter Biden has been released. It reveals the contentious testimony that took place Wednesday as Republicans scrambled to advance an impeachment inquiry on the brink of collapse.

7 hours ago

FILE - Kristlyn Wood, a cousin of 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham, reacts during a vigil in Cunningha...

Associated Press

Family, advocates want solution to legal loophole after killing of 11-year-old Texas girl

As mourners prepare for the funeral of 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham, who was killed near Houston, the community wants answers about how the suspect in her death was allowed to remain free despite a long criminal history of violence.

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Several with grave injuries after NYC fire that killed 19