Deadly Bronx, New York Fire Kills 12

The fire broke out at 6:51 p.m. on the third floor of a building on Prospect Ave. at E. 187th St. in Belmont

The fire that killed 12 people in a Bronx building in NY began in the kitchen of the first floor of an apartment when a 3 and-a-half year-old child was playing with a stove.

"We found this fire started in a kitchen on the first floor".

The boy's mother was not in the same room as him when the fire started but was alerted to it by his screams and she quickly grabbed him and another two-year-old child, Commissioner of the New York City Fire Department Daniel Nigro said. Excluding the September 11 attacks, it was the worst fire in the city since 87 people were killed at a social club fire in the Bronx in 1990.

She then rushed to the Jacobi Medical Center where she got the awful news, "That's when I find out they all dead".

Five of the other victims were pronounced dead at the scene: a 8-month-old baby girl, a 63-year-old woman and three adult men, according to police.

At least 20 people scrambled out via fire escapes on a bitterly cold night, but others could not.

The 26-unit apartment building was required to have self-closing doors, which swing shut on their own to keep fires from spreading, city Housing Preservation and Development Department spokesman Matthew Creegan said. The family, a husband and wife and four children, got out.

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The fire department said over 160 firefighters were on the scene. 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.

"If I had picked up the phone, she would have been over here all day", he told The Associated Press.

Rafael Gonzalez, another witness, said, "All I saw was just kids in the fire escape".

Twum Bredu, 61, arrived in the neighborhood looking for his brother, who had been staying with a family in the building.

"From what we know right now, there was not a problem with the building", de Blasio said.

Authorities say about 170 firefighters battled the blaze and rescued the building's fleeing tenants. One violation was for a broken smoke detector in an apartment on the first floor that was reported in August. The fire was caused by a young 3-year-old boy who was playing with the burners on a stove. Investigators will look at whether the door to the apartment was defective or if an obstruction prevented it from closing, he said.

The NYPD, FDNY, city Office of Emergency Managment, Bronx Borough President's Office and Mayor's Office are conducting a cloathing and coat drive for those affected by the fire at Church of Saint Martin of Tours on Crotona Avenue from 9 a.m.to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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