The death toll from the New York apartment fire has fallen from 19 to 17

Updated 4 hours ago

New York City officials revised from 19 to 17 the death toll from a fire that broke out in a high-rise apartment in the Bronx the day before.

Mayor Eric Adams told reporters that nine adults and eight children were now known to have died in a fire yesterday, one of America’s worst residential hells in recent memory.

Initially, Adams said ten adults and nine children died in the fire that New York Fire Chief Daniel Nigro said was caused by a portable electric heater.

Dozens were injured in the blaze that broke out around 11am (4pm Irish time) on the third floor of a 19-story apartment building on East 181 Street.

Negro attributed the first reported figure to «a little double-count,» adding that the death toll could still vary due to the wounded.

«This number could unfortunately go up again,» he told reporters.

Negro said it was the smoke, not the fire, that caused the deaths and serious injuries.

Officials said the fire originated in a duplex apartment whose door was left open, allowing smoke to spread.

«If we take one message out of this[disaster]it shuts the door,» Adams said.

The working-class neighborhood of the Bronx is home to a large number of immigrants and many of the building’s residents have moved to New York from The Gambia.

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“This is a global tragedy because the Bronx represents races and cultures all over the world,” Adams said.

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The fire was the worst in New York City since a fire broke out in the Happy Land nightclub in the Bronx in 1990, killing 87 people and was caused by an arson.

In December 2017, 13 people were killed in a fire in an apartment building in the Bronx.

© AFP 2022

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