'It Was Something Like 9/11': Details of Deadly NYC Fire Revealed by Witnesses
19:02 GMT 10.01.2022 (Updated: 21:08 GMT 19.10.2022)
One resident of the building where the fire broke out reportedly mentioned that the fire alarm “goes off in the hallway all the time, at least twice a week,” and that people on the third, fourth, and fifth floors “went about their day until they saw smoke.”
Following a deadly fire that ravaged a high-rise in the Bronx on Sunday, claiming 19 lives and leaving 32 people wounded, witnesses shared details of this terrible tragedy with the media.
Dilenny Rodriguez, a 38-year old resident of a 9th floor apartment in the devastated building, said she heard “a lot of kids yelling, ‘Help! Help! Help!’” according to New York Post.
"It was dark. The smoke was really bad. Those kids crying for help," she said.
Another witness, a 13-year old named Alanny, told the newspaper that they “saw moms fainting” as they "saw their kids dying.”
Alanny’s 27-years old aunt Cristal Diaz who lives on the 15th floor said she was drinking coffee in the living room as the tragedy struck – she “started smelling smoke.”
"We started putting water on towels and the bottom of the door. Everything was crazy,” Diaz said. "We didn’t know what to do. We looked out the windows and saw all the dead bodies they were taking with the blankets.”
Their 65-year old neighbour Christopher Carrasquilo rushed to help, as “a little kid was stuck in the elevator.”
"I had to bring him down. It was something like 9/11," he said, with the newspaper noting that the man had tears in his eyes.
One resident, who asked not to be named, reportedly said that “the fire alarm goes off in the hallway all the time, at least twice a week,” which might have had a detrimental effect on the speed with which people reacted to the disaster.
"What do I do when I watch a movie? I put the volume up because it goes off all the time," the resident said, referring to the fire alarm. "I don’t know if it’s faulty or what it is. … People on the third, fourth, fifth and went about their day until they saw smoke."
The fire, which has already been branded the deadliest in NYC in the last three decades, killed 19 people, nine of them children; a four-year-old was among the deceased, The New York Post says citing police sources.
9 January 2022, 18:52 GMT
The blaze was apparently caused by a malfunctioning space heater in a duplex apartment spanning the second and third floors of the building.
NYC Mayor Eric Adams, who assumed office this month, has already called the fire one of the worst in NYC’s modern history.