12, including a child, dead in massive Bronx fire as firefighters battle blaze in freezing cold

  • Firefighters respond to a building fire Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in the Bronx borough of New York. The Fire Department of New York says a blaze raging in the Bronx apartment building has seriously injured more than a dozen of people. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II

New York Daily News
Thursday, December 28, 2017

NEW YORK — A raging apartment fire claimed 12 victims, including a 1-year-old child, Thursday night in the Bronx as firefighters battled frigid conditions to remove tenants and bring the blaze under control.

Four others were in critical condition, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a news conference Thursday night.

“This is the worst fire tragedy we have seen in this city — it will rank as one of the worst losses in a fire in many years,” the mayor said. Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro echoed the mayor’s words, calling the fire a “historic” tragedy.

Firefighters removed at least 15 people from the five-story building on Prospect Avenue at East 187th Street in the Belmont neighborhood, an FDNY spokesman said.

The fire broke out at 6:51 p.m. on the building’s third floor and quickly spread, fire officials said. At least 12 people were rescued.

Firefighters were battling cold and icy conditions as they fought the flames, the spokesman said.

“We are closely monitoring the devastating fire in the Bronx,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a tweet. “As always we are thankful for our first responders. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families tonight.”