“We have confirmed that 19 people are dead and many more are in critical condition,” Adams, who has been mayor for just a week, told AFP.
Adams confirmed on Twitter “Nine young innocent lives lost”, Including children and adolescents, among 19 dead.
The mayor said 63 people were injured in the incident, adding that “it will be one of the worst fires in our history.”
According to Adams, “many” of the occupants of the building were Muslims who came to this New York City from the Gambia, as well as other Central Americans such as the Dominicans and Guatemalan, Marta Sanchez, who told the AFP that his family was safe. And sound.
The injured were taken to five hospitals, many of them suffering from heart and respiratory arrests, the New York Times reported.
It is feared that the number of victims in New York will increase, the AFP added.
At least 200 firefighters were involved in putting out the blazeThe announcement was made at midnight on the second and third floors of the 19-story building in the center of the Bronx, according to the New York Fire Department (FDNY).
“Sheriffs have determined from residents’ physical evidence and first-rate accounts that the fire in the bedroom was caused by a portable electric heater,” New York City Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Daniel told reporters.
Neighbors described seeing disgruntled residents waving their hands, apparently unable to escape being trapped.
“It was confusing,” Gorge King, who lives in a nearby building, told AFP. “I’ve lived here for fifteen years and this is the first time I’ve seen something like this.”
“I saw smoke and a lot of people panicked. You can see that no one wanted to jump out of the building. People waved their hands out the windows,” King added.
“The fire, which spread to the top of the building,” left victims on every floor and stairwell, “Negro added.
Images posted on the FDNY Twitter account show flames rising from a second-floor window of this brown brick building into a dense column of black smoke.
Asthma patient Dominican Miguel Enrique only had time to take off his jacket and take the elevator from the 13th floor. “I was going down the stairs, but you could not see anything, I crashed into the elevator,” he says with his brother Jose at the reception center, which he believes “saved his life”.
Negro explained that the door to the duplex apartment where the fire occurred was left open, allowing fire and smoke to spread.
He added that there were no emergency exits in such buildings.
The flames quickly engulfed much of the structure, and the smoke was so dense that it was so “unprecedented,” Negro said.
“The last time we had this horrible (incident) was 30 years ago, even in the Bronx,” Nicro quoted NBC News as saying.
In December 2017, a fire in an apartment building in the Bronx killed 13 people, the deadliest in the city in 25 years.
The incident comes four days after a fire that killed 12 people, including eight children, in a three-story community building in Philadelphia, one of the most recent fires in the United States.
New York, with a population of 9 million, is plagued by a major housing crisis in many neighborhoods, sometimes with old and dilapidated properties, AFP concluded.