At least 19 people, nine of them children, were killed and dozens injured on Sunday when a fire spread thick smoke through a high-rise apartment building in the Bronx. New York’s fire commissioner said victims suffered from severe smoke inhalation and the fire was triggered from a malfunctioning electric space heater. Many of the building’s residents are African immigrants. New York City Mayor Eric Adams urged victims to come forward regardless of their immigration status.
Mayor Eric Adams: “If you need assistance, your names will not be turned over to ICE or any other institution. We want people to be comfortable in coming forward.”
The building where Sunday’s fire took place is owned by an investment group whose co-founder, Rick Gropper, served on Eric Adams’s transition team as an adviser on housing issues. It was New York City’s deadliest residential fire in decades and came just days after a blaze at a public housing property in Philadelphia killed 12 people, including eight children. Democratic Congressmember Ritchie Torres, whose district includes the Bronx building that burned Sunday, blamed decades of disinvestment in affordable housing that he said leaves buildings “wide open to catastrophic fires that can cost people their lives.”