Scottish Daily Mail

Nine children killed in devastatin­g f lats blaze

- Mail Foreign Service

NINETEEN people, including nine children, were killed yesterday in an apartment fire in New York City.

More than 60 people were injured and last night 13 were in critical condition in hospital

The majority of victims were suffering from severe smoke inhalation, New York Fire Department Commission­er Daniel Nigro, told a press conference.

He added that the fire was ‘unpreceden­ted in our city’.

According to the New York Fire Department, approximat­ely 200 firefighte­rs responded to the blaze at the Bronx’s Twin Park apartments, a 19-storey building on East 181st Street.

Rescuers were seen pulling women and children from the burning complex. Small children could be seen covered in soot and being given oxygen by emergency workers as firefighte­rs entered the upper floors of the burning building on a ladder.

Mr Nigro said firefighte­rs ‘found victims on every floor and were taking them out in cardiac and respirator­y arrest’.

The commission­er compared the severity of the fire to the Happy Land social club fire, which killed 87 people in 1990 when a man set fire to the building in New York after getting into an argument with his former girlfriend and being thrown out of the club.

According to Mr Nigro, yesterday’s fire started in a duplex apartment on the second and third floors. Firefighte­rs found the door to the apartment open, he said, which apparently allowed the fire to accelerate and spread smoke upward quickly.

New York mayor Eric Adams called the fire’s toll ‘horrific’.

He added: ‘This is going to be one of the worst fires that we have witnessed during modern times.’

A resident of the building, Cristal Diaz, 27, told the New York Post that she had been drinking coffee in her living room when she smelled the smoke. ‘We started putting water on towels and the bottom of the door. Everything was crazy,’ she said.

‘We didn’t know what to do. We looked out the windows and saw all the dead bodies they were taking out with the blankets.’

The fire is not believed to be suspicious in origin.

Yesterday’s tragedy comes only days after a house fire in Philadelph­ia killed 12 people, including eight children.

‘Everything was crazy’

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