Five-Alarm Fire in the Bronx Leaves 19 Dead, Injures Dozens

By Bre Bradham | January 10, 2022

An apartment building fire Sunday morning in the Bronx killed 19 people, including nine children.

The five-alarm fire at 333 East 181st Street drew about 200 firefighters to the scene. An investigation is underway, according to New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

“It’s a tragedy beyond measure,” Adams said in a tweet.

Firefighting units arrived within three minutes of the call and were met with “very heavy smoke, very heavy fire,” FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said at a press conference Sunday afternoon.

The smoke extended the whole height of the building and victims were found on every floor. The fire may be the deadliest in the city since the Happy Land fire in 1990 — also in the Bronx — that killed 87 people, the FDNY commissioner said.

The fire appears to have come from a space heater, Adams said at a press conference late Sunday. The building’s owner, Bronx Park Phase III Preservation LLC, said it’s working with city officials to investigate the cause of the flames.

“We are devastated by the unimaginable loss of life caused by this profound tragedy,” the owner said. “We are cooperating fully with the Fire Department and other city agencies as they investigate its cause, and we are doing all we can to assist our residents.”

More than 30 people are in the hospital, the mayor said. Some of the firefighters still pushed through the smoke for the rescue effort even though their oxygen tanks were empty, he added.

“We are indeed a city in shock,” Governor Kathy Hochul said at the press conference. Hochul said that as she prepares her budget this week, she’ll create a victims’ compensation fund. “We’ll take care of them.”

About the photo: Emergency first responders remain at the scene after a fire erupted at a 19-story residential building in the Bronx on Jan. 9, 2022.

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