Updated Jan 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Bronx apartment fire leaves at least 17 dead

Scott Heins/Getty Images

Emergency first responders remain at the scene after an intense fire at a 19-story residential building erupted on Jan. 9. Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images

A fire in a 19-story Bronx apartment building killed 17 people, including eight children, Mayor Eric Adams said in a briefing Monday.

The latest: The fire was caused by a "malfunctioning electric space heater" in a two-floor unit of the building, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said at a press briefing Sunday evening.

  • The fire "consumed" the apartment, Nigro said, adding that because the apartment's door had been left open, smoke from the blaze spread throughout the building.

Driving the news: The blaze left more than 60 people injured and 32 in "life-threatening condition" due to smoke inhalation, according to Adams.

  • The fire began around 11 a.m. in the unit, which is on the second and third floors of the residential building, Nigro said at a news briefing. Crews arrived at the building within 3 minutes of getting a call. About 200 firefighters were dispatched to the scene.

What they're saying: "The impact of this fire is going to really bring a level of pain and despair in our city," Adams said at a news conference Sunday.

  • "The numbers are horrific," Adams said. "This is going to be one of the worst fires that we have witnessed during modern times."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new information from Adams, who revised the death toll from 19 to 17.

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