Updated: Deadly New York City Apartment Fire Caused by Child; Kills 12, Including Four Children

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A toddler playing with a stove has been determined to have caused the fatal Bronx fire that killed twelve, including four children, and left four others in critical condition in the worst New York City fire in twenty-five years.

"Tonight in the Bronx we've seen the worst fire tragedy in at least a quarter of a century. It is an unspeakable tragedy and families have been torn apart. I want to offer my prayer to all the families who have lost their loved ones this evening or who are struggling, I ask all New Yorkers to keep them in your prayers too," said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio via Twitter @NYCMayor

The fire broke out just before 7:00p.m. Thursday night. The New York Fire Department was on the scene in minutes. More than 160 firefighters battled the four alarm blaze.


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"Despite their heroic efforts we have a scene here in which 12 people have died and 4 are fighting for their lives" FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro said on Twitter @FDNY

The death toll included four children under the age of ten, with the two youngest just toddlers, at one and two years old. The two other children who also perished were age seven and an unidentified child. Four adult men and four adult women also died. A mother and her baby were found sheltering in a bathtub. Both died.

The raging inferno spread quickly from the first floor unit, fueled by the high winds whipping through the region and within minutes engulfed the five story brick building that housed thirty-nine families. Residents on the upper floors had little time to evacuate and any hesitation trapped residents.

Pictures posted on the FDNY Twitter feed show multiple fire truck with two aerial ladders posted on the fourth floor and the roof of the brick building. Free standing ladders, reaching to the third floor, were also in use in the effort to rescue trapped residents.

Firefighters were able to rescue at least a dozen residents who were seen standing outside wrapped in Red Cross blankets, clutching cell phones hoping to hear from loved ones still trapped.


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Neighboring buildings were not evacuated and residents can be seen with their windows open watching the unfolding horror.

The fire is currently under investigation.

Image courtesy of the FDNY Twitter.

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