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Building residents overwhelmed by Bronx blaze: 'There was smoke everywhere'

Building residents overwhelmed by Bronx blaze: 'There was smoke everywhere'

Nigro called the loss of life from the fire, the worst in NY in 25 years, "unprecedented". "Based on the info now, I'm sorry to report 12 New Yorkers are dead, including one child".

Meanwhile, four people remain in critical condition, fighting for their lives, after the fire, according to Mayor de Blasio.

"We may lose others as well", he said.

The building is in the Belmont section of the Bronx, a primarily residential, close-knit neighbourhood known as the "Little Italy" of the borough, near Fordham University and the Bronx Zoo.

Firefighters respond to a deadly fire Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in the Bronx borough of NY.

Excluding the 9/11 terror attacks, it was the worst fire in the city since 87 people were killed at a social club fire - also in the Bronx - in 1990.

At roughly 7 p.m. on December 28, a fire began at an apartment building in the Bronx. "She exited her apartment with her two-year-old and three-year-old and left the door open", New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

"The fire started on the first floor, quickly spread upstairs into this ... five-story building with 25 apartments", Nigro said.

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The boy had a history of fiddling with the stove in his family's first-floor apartment, his mother told officials. "We won't tell you anything more about it other than they range in ages from 1 to over 50".

"Children starting fires is not rare", Nigro said.

ABC 30 reported that four victims from one family have been identified as: 19-year-old Shawntay Young, 37-year-old Karen Stewart Francis, and her two daughters, 2-year-old Kylie Francis and 7-year-old Kelesha "Kelly" Francis. He has lived on the first floor of the building for five years, and he said he heard a fire alarm go off on Thursday evening.

The building, with 26 apartments, has at least six open building code violations, according to city records.

"I've been calling his phone, it's ringing, but nobody picks up", Bredu said. By the time officials held a news conference around 10 p.m. ET, the fire had been put out and the building was being searched. The communications officer for the Red Cross, Michael de Vulpillieres, said they gave out blankets, temporary housing, food, drinks and mental health care to residents who needed amid the "emotional" time.

But Nigro said there was nothing unusual about the structure of the building that would have made it especially prone to such a disaster, a point that Mayor Bill de Blasio, D, reiterated later on WNYC radio.

A fireman with a child at the Bronx apartment block. The family, a husband and wife and four children, got out.