Nineteen people are dead and dozens more are injured after a fire tore through a Bronx high-rise apartment building this morning. Nine children are among those who lost their lives in the blaze that started just before 11 a.m. on the second and third floors of Twin Parks North West, a 19-story building located at 333 East 181st Street in the Tremont neighborhood. A malfunctioning space heater caused the deadly fire, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro told local media.
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Fire crews arrived on the scene within three minutes of the call. They were met with what Nigro describes as an unprecedented amount of smoke. Residents who heard the smoke alarms were overcome by smoke inhalation before they could make their way to safety. Firefighters found victims suffering cardiac or respiratory arrest on every floor, Nigro said.
At least 63 people were injured, 32 of whom sustained life-threatening injuries. It’s one of the most catastrophic fires in New York City history, Nigro said.
Heating equipment is a leading cause of residential fires and fatalities, according to a recent study by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Space heaters are the most common heating equipment source of home fires, injuries, and deaths accounting for two of every five of these fires, 78 percent of injuries, and 85 percent of fire deaths. In about 8 percent of cases, the ignition source of fires caused by space heaters is electrical failure or malfunction, according to the study.
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The fire attorneys at the national law firm Pritzker Hageman represent people who have been injured in fires and families who have suffered the wrongful death of a loved one. In one recent case, our experienced team fire lawyers filed a lawsuit against Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) on behalf of victims of an apartment fire that broke out at Cedar High Apartments. Our legal team represented the families of two people who died in the fire.