Twelve people, including a baby, are dead in a massive fire fueled by gusty winds which ripped through an apartment building in the Bronx Thursday night. The fire began on the first floor but quickly spread throughout the building. Several others were critically injured. The victims' ages range from 1-50.
The injured people were taken to Jacobi Medical Center and St. Barnabas Hospital. More than 160 firefighters responded. They were able to rescue 12 people. The flames had been brought under control. The building, constructed of plaster and brick, was not fireproof. It was built in 1916 and had more than 20 units. "This is the worst fire tragedy we have seen in this city in at least a quarter century. Based on the information we have now, this will rank as one of the worst losses of life to a fire in many, many years. We may lose others as well."
Mayor the Blasio at the scene
Mayor de Blasio said during a press conference. About 170 firefighters responded to the blaze at the five-story, walk-up apartment building at 2363 Prospect Ave., near East 187th Street around 7 p.m. The building is just one block from the Bronx Zoo. Many people, including children, were left without coats and shoes. Officials said they were opening up the nearby Grace H. Dodge vocational high school as a reception center for people who needed housing and other services.