Harlem apartment fire kills 6, including 4 children | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World

Harlem apartment fire kills 6, including 4 children

Associated Press
1130107_web1_1130107-6e4fa23597814c58ba776db2de26b78f
AP
Members of the New York Fire Department work near debris from a fire in New York’s Harlem neighborhood, Wednesday, May 8, 2019. Six people, including four children, were killed Wednesday when an overnight fire ravaged an apartment in a city-owned Harlem building.
1130107_web1_1130107-fe2c6ddcae684b35a7c87fbf9b470e15
AP
Leon Black, a resident of building burned in a fire, visits the scene in New York’s Harlem neighborhood, Wednesday, May 8, 2019. Six people, including four children, were killed Wednesday when an overnight fire ravaged an apartment in a city-owned Harlem building.
1130107_web1_1130107-da5f0a44bc744c9cbe5b749146f556bb
AP
Fire marshals sift through a burned out apartment in New York’s Harlem neighborhood, Wednesday, May 8, 2019. Six people, including four children, were killed Wednesday when an overnight fire ravaged an apartment in a city-owned Harlem building.
1130107_web1_1130107-9828ae44593848538e913c9786ec42f0
AP
New York City police stand near a stuffed animal left by a child in front of a fire damaged building in New York’s Harlem neighborhood, Wednesday, May 8, 2019. Six people, including four children, were killed Wednesday when an overnight fire ravaged an apartment in a city-owned Harlem building.
1130107_web1_1130107-ea40096dd99d49209ee3a58ba3dad9f0
AP
People look at a fire damaged building in New York’s Harlem neighborhood, Wednesday, May 8, 2019. Six people, including four children, were killed Wednesday when an overnight fire ravaged the apartment in a city-owned Harlem building.

NEW YORK — Six family members, including four children, were killed early Wednesday when a fire that apparently started on a stove ravaged a Harlem apartment, authorities said.

Firefighters, who were called at about 1:40 a.m., pushed quickly and aggressively into the flames and thick smoke and found a man and a woman, as well as two girls and two boys ages 3 to 11, in bedrooms of the fifth-floor apartment, according to Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro. They were pronounced dead by emergency medical technicians.

“We’re in the lifesaving business and we take this very personally when we’re unable to save this family,” Nigro said at a briefing hours later.

“It’s horrible to look at, and as a father just thinking … that yesterday evening four children went to bed and they’re gone now is very, very painful,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

The head of the New York City Housing Authority, Kathryn Garcia, said a battery-operated smoke detector in the apartment had been tested in January.

Television reports showed neighbors standing in a circle and praying outside the Frederick E. Samuel Houses.

“I was trapped in my building, in my apartment until the fire department came and got me out,” a resident, Patricia Flowers, told The Associated Press hours after the fire. “I have a mom, and I didn’t know what to do to get her out. … So it was very frightening.”

“I woke up in the middle of night after hearing the fire truck and I could see the fire and it was so hot, even from across here it was so hot,” said Deborah Belton, who lives across the street.

“As the fire was burning I was hearing one of the little girls screaming,” fourth-floor resident Eric Allen told the New York Post . “They were beautiful kids.”

Abdul Salaam, 25, told the Post that he saw the flames from the street and called 911.

“I heard glass breaking, kids yelling,” said Salaam. “They were clearly in fear for their lives.”

One resident said that he and his 75-year-old mother, who live on the fifth floor, fled down a fire escape.

“There was so much smoke you couldn’t even see,” Geraldo Morales told the Post. “The smoke — I got asthma — so it was like I was getting suffocated.”

Several people suffered minor injuries when the building was being evacuated.

Categories: News | World
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.