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No fewer than 19 people were confirmed dead and a dozens others injured when a fire blazed through a high-rise apartment building in New York City on Sunday, its mayor disclosed early Monday morning in one of America’s worst residential fires in recent memory.
‘We know that we have 19 people who are confirmed dead, as well as several others in critical condition,‘ Mayor Eric Adams told CNN, adding that 63 people had been wounded.
‘This is going to be one of the worst fires in our history,’ he said.
Africa Daily News, New York gathered that at least 200 firefighters responded to the blaze, which broke out mid-morning on the second and third floors of a 19-story building on East 181st Street, several blocks west of the Bronx Zoo.
Neighbors spoke of seeing residents desperately waving from floors, apparently trapped and unable to escape.
‘It was chaos,’ George King, who lives directly adjacent the building told reporters.
‘I’ve been here 15 years and it’s the first time I’ve seen something like this.
‘I saw the smoke, a lot of people were panicking. You could see that no one wanted to jump from the building. People were waving from the windows,’ he added.
The cause of the fire was not immediately clear.
The injured were taken to five hospitals; many suffered from cardiac and respiratory arrest, the New York Times reported.
The blaze comes just four days after a fire in Philadelphia killed 12 people, including eight children, in a three-story public housing building.
Africa Daily News, New York had in December 2017, 13 people were killed in a blaze in an apartment building in the Bronx in New York City’s deadliest fire in 25 years.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK