As deadly smoke spread throughout a New York apartment building, safety doors failed to close, killing 17 people.
The Associated Press’ DAVID PORTER, MICHELLE L PRICE, and MICHAEL R SISAK contributed to this report.
NEW YORK (AP) — Investigators are looking into why safety doors in a New York high-rise failed to close when a fire broke out, allowing thick smoke to rise through the building and kill 17 people, including eight children, in the city’s deadliest blaze in more than three decades.
According to fire officials, the fire in the Bronx’s 19-story building was started by a malfunctioning electric space heater on Sunday.
The flames only burned through a small portion of the building, but smoke poured in through the open door of the apartment, turning the stairwells into dark, ash-choked death traps.
In a tower that was too tall for fire escapes, the stairs were the only way out.
The apartment’s front door and a door on the 15th floor should have been self-closing and prevented the spread of smoke, according to Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, but the doors remained fully open.
It was unclear whether the doors had malfunctioned mechanically or had been manually disabled.
The apartment door, according to Nigro, was not blocked in any way.
According to fire officials, heavy smoke prevented some residents from fleeing and rendered others unconscious as they attempted to flee.
Every floor had victims, many of whom were in cardiac and respiratory arrest.
Even after their oxygen supplies ran out, firefighters carried limp children out and gave them oxygen.
At first, 19 people were said to have been killed.
The total number of people has been reduced to 17, with eight children and nine adults.
On Sunday, Jan. 14, firefighters work at the scene of a fatal fire at an apartment building in the Bronx.
New York, September 9th, 2022
According to FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro, the majority of the victims were suffering from severe smoke inhalation.
Closed doors, according to Glenn Corbett, a fire science professor at John Jay College in New York City, are critical for containing fire and smoke, especially in buildings without automatic sprinkler systems.
“It’s incredible that the failure of one door could result in as many deaths as we did here,” Corbett said.
“That one door allowed the fire to spread and…
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