(CNN) – A large fire at a residential apartment building in the Bronx in New York City on Sunday killed 19 people, including nine children, Mayor Eric Adams told CNN.
The fire sent 32 people to hospitals with life-threatening conditions, New York City Fire Department (FDNY) Commissioner Daniel Nigro said Sunday. Adams said that a total of 63 people were injured.
“This is a horrible, horrible and painful time for New York City, and the impact of this fire will really bring a level of pain and despair to our city,” said Adams.
About 200 members of the New York City Fire Department were at the scene of the fire in a 19-story apartment building at 333 East 181st Street. The fire started a little before 11 am in a duplex apartment on the building’s second and third floors and has been “torn down,” the FDNY said.
The fire started in a duplex apartment on the building’s second and third floors, Nigro said. The door to the apartment was left open and smoke spread through all floors of the building, he said.
Firefighters encountered “very dense smoke, very dense fire” in the hallways.
Victims were found on the stairs to every floor of the building, many with cardiac arrest, in what Nigro said could be an unprecedented loss of life. The injuries were predominantly from smoke inhalation, he noted.
The FDNY released multiple images from the scene at 333 East 181st Street showing stairs extending into apartment windows, as well as several broken windows.
Approximately 200 FDNY members are operating on scene of a 5-alarm fire at 333 East 181 Street in the Bronx. There are currently 31 serious injuries to civilians. pic.twitter.com/yrTYwOfonH
– FDNY (@FDNY) January 9, 2022