Soldier visiting NYC for holidays dies trying to save people from fire

31 December, 2017, 06:53 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Soldier home for Christmas died trying to save lives as New York's worst fire for a generation kills 12, including four kids

A priest in the Bronx, New York, tended to grieving families and asked for prayers for them as well as for victims of a December 28 fire, one of the deadliest in New York City and the borough's history, which left at least 12 dead and many fighting for their lives.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement on Twitter, "I want to offer my prayers to all the families who have lost their loved ones this evening or who are struggling".

Police say on Saturday that five men and a teenage girl also perished in the fire that killed a dozen people. The victims included an 8-month-old baby girl and her grandmother. But the flames moved so fast, spreading through every floor of the building within minutes, that many never made it out of their apartments.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Tenants of the building, a mix of native New Yorkers and Latino and African immigrants, scrambled down fire escapes. Besides the 12 dead, others are reported hospitalized, including four in critical condition.

The officials said the mother fled the burning apartment with the boy, leaving the apartment door open.

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The apartments stairwell acted as "a chimney" when the fire broke out into the building, according to FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro. Diallo says it took him a moment to realize what was happening.

"Only when I heard people screaming, 'There's a fire in the building!'" he said. He said he was forced to run out barefoot, wearing only a bathrobe.

Mayor de Blasio told CNN on Friday, "This is a bad tragedy in the middle of the holidays".

The fire was first reported shortly before 7 p.m. local time.

There were seven firefighters injured in the fire and seven civilians injured. Nine children and one adult died in a blaze sparked by a space heater.

28 a fire erupted on the first floor of an apartment building in the Bronx, killing 12 people.

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