Bronx fire that killed 12 caused by child playing with stove

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)

NEW YORK (AP) – The latest on New York City’s deadliest residential fire in decades (all times local):

5:40 p.m.

A New York City spokesman says a building in which a fire raced through an open door and up a stairwell, killing a dozen people, was required to have self-closing doors.

Department of Housing Preservation and Development spokesman Matthew Creegan says investigators will look at whether the door was defective or an obstruction prevented it from closing in Thursday night’s Bronx fire.

A fire commissioner Friday said a mother and her two young children fled the first-floor apartment after a 3-year-old boy ignited the fire by turning on a stove.

Creegan says the city takes seriously the issue of self-closing doors, required in all dwellings with more than three units. He says the city cited landlords over 7,752 times in the last year for violations of the self-closing-door requirement.

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4:40 p.m.

The company that owns the New York City apartment building where a dozen people died in a fire says it is “shocked and saddened” by the tragedy.

D&E Equities said through spokesman Ronn Torossian that it is communicating with the city about the Thursday fire in the Bronx. D&E Equities has owned the five-story building since 1984.

Torossian also said the company’s prayers and thoughts are with the families.

City officials say the fire swept through the building after a 3-year-old boy in a first-floor apartment turned on a stove burner.

A spokesman for the city’s Department of Housing Preservation & Development said the 26-unit building has a “relatively low history of repair violations.”

It was the city’s deadliest fire in decades, excluding the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

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2:30 p.m.

A woman, her two daughters and a niece are among the dozen victims of a fire that raced through a century-old New York City apartment building.

Officials have not released the identities of the victims of the Thursday night blaze, but Ambrozia Stewart told several news outlets they include her youngest daughter and three granddaughters. Stewart moved to the United States from Jamaica in the 1980s.

A fire official said the fire started when a 3-year-old boy played with burners on a stove. Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro (NY’-groh) said the fire raced through an open apartment door and up the five-story building’s stairwell, chasing residents as they fled.

Thirteen members of the family lived in the building.

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1:25 p.m.

A family is still waiting to find out what became of a relative who was staying in a New York City apartment building where a fast-moving fire killed 12 people.

Twum Bredu (BREH’-doo) said Friday he hasn’t yet gotten news of his 28-year-old brother, Emmanuel Mensah. Mensah was staying with a family that escaped safely from Thursday night’s fire in a five-story Bronx building.

But no one could find Mensah. His family checked four hospitals.

Bredu says the family’s still looking and hoping for word of him. He says: “That’s my prayer.”

Commissioner Daniel Nigro (NY’-groh) says the blaze was accidentally ignited by a 3 ½-year-old boy playing with the burners on his mother’s stove.

It was the city’s deadliest fire in decades, excluding the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

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10:50 a.m.

New York City’s fire commissioner says a stairwell acted like a chimney and quickly spread a deadly fire that was started by a child playing with a stove.

Commissioner Daniel Nigro (NY’-groh) said Friday that the 3 ½-year-old boy had a history of playing with stove burners.

Twelve people, including four children, were killed in the Bronx apartment building fire Thursday night. Four people are still fighting for their lives. He says everyone has been accounted for.

Nigro stresses the importance of closing doors to help contain fires.

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10:10 a.m.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says investigators believe a Bronx fire that killed 12 was caused by a child playing with a stove.

De Blasio said Friday on WNYC that four people are still fighting for their lives following the fire Thursday night in the Bronx.

The New York Police Department says those who died include girls ages 1, 2 and 7, and a boy. His age was not given.

Some residents made it down fire escapes. But the flames moved so fast that many never made it out of their apartments.

Witnesses describe seeing burned bodies being carried away on stretchers and young girls who had escaped standing barefoot outside with no coats.

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8 a.m.

Police say four children are among the 12 people killed in New York City’s deadliest residential fire in decades.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday on CNN that other people are still fighting for their lives. The Democrat says first responders saved at least 12 lives.

The New York Police Department says those who died in the Bronx fire Thursday night include girls ages 1, 2 and 7, and a boy. His age was not given.

Some residents made it down fire escapes. But the flames moved so fast that many never made it out of their apartments.

Witnesses describe seeing burned bodies being carried away on stretchers and young girls who had escaped standing barefoot outside with no coats.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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2:35 a.m.

Officials say New York City’s deadliest residential fire in decades spread through every floor of a Bronx apartment building within a matter of minutes, killing 12 people and sending other residents scrambling down fire escapes to safety.

The blaze broke out Thursday night on the first floor of a five-story building.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says the dead include a child around a year old, while four more people are fighting for their lives.

Some tenants of the building climbed down fire escapes. But the flames moved so fast that many never made it out of their apartments.

Witnesses describe seeing burned bodies being carried away on stretchers and young girls who had escaped standing barefoot outside with no coats.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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