Bronx Fire: Space Heater, Faulty Door Played Roles in Deadly Outcome, Say Officials

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According to officials, the city’s medical examiner also brought down the death toll from 19 to 17 on Monday.

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City officials had earlier said 19 people, including nine children, had died in the fire. According to city officials, the city’s medical examiner adjusted the death toll on Monday.

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New York Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the unit’s self-closing entrance remained open after the family fled the home, sending smoke into the 19-story building.

At a news conference near the building, Mr. Negro said, “The door remained completely open because it had a fault.” He said investigations by city fire marshals were on.

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City regulations require apartment units to have self-closing doors. According to the building’s owner and city officials, the building was in compliance with the rules.

Kelly Magee, a spokeswoman for the building’s owner, Bronx Park Phase III Preservation LLC, said on Monday that there were no complaints about the building infringing or self-closing doors. He told that in July 2021, the maintenance staff repaired the lock on the door of the unit where the fire broke out. At the time, the self-closing mechanism was working, Ms Maggie said.

The New York City Council approved a self-closing-door law in 2018 in the wake of another deadly fire in the Bronx that killed a dozen people. According to fire officials, closed doors help in extinguishing fires in apartment units.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said at a news conference Monday that the city would carry forward that message in public service announcements and instructions to schoolchildren.

“We have an obligation to reinvent the door lock, door lock concept,” he said. “But what we don’t want to do is just add more trauma to the family that was trying to survive a very dangerous and very frightening experience.”

Mr Negro said investigators are also examining the accounts of some residents that the building’s smoke alarms often go off.

Ms Maggie said the building had no known problems with smoke alarms and they worked as designed. He said incidents of residents smoking in the stairs of the building have been known to trip alarms.

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