Family of 6, including 4 children and their mother, killed in Harlem apartment fire
At least six people, including a mother and her four children, have been killed in an NYCHA apartment after a blaze tore through the building early Wednesday morning.
Fire officials said that they received a call about the blaze shortly after 1:30 am on Wednesday. The fire reportedly started on the fifth floor of the Frederick E. Samuel Apartments on the corner of Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and West 142nd Street.
Officials added that when they responded to the scene, the flames had reached the doors and the apartment was "fully involved." It took them nearly two hours to bring the fire under control.
The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) Commissioner Daniel Nigro, in a statement, said that the victims were members of the same family. The family included a 45-year-old woman, her four children — two girls, aged 11 and 6, and two boys, aged 8 and 3, and a 33-year-old man believed to be the woman's stepson. All of them were pronounced dead at the scene, according to NBC New York.
Reports state that the victims were found unresponsive in back bedrooms after firefighters tackled the flames. Three other people also suffered minor smoke inhalation.
A cause of the fire is currently under investigation although authorities do not believe it to be suspicious. The number of people displaced by the blaze is still unknown. According to the FDNY, the fire appears to have been caused by a burner on a stove that was left turned on in the apartment.
A resident at the apartment, Geraldo Morales, while speaking to PIX11, said that he carried his dog out as his mother was holding onto his back.
"We're blessed. That could've been us," another resident said. The blaze is one of the deadliest New York City has witnessed in years.