The victims of New York City's deadliest fire in decades include a man who immigrated to the Bronx from Ghana and dreamed of becoming a military policeman.
City officials have declared the incident as the deadliest fire in New York City in over 25 years.
The fire broke out on the first floor of a five story building a block away from the Bronx Zoo and spread quickly, according to the city's Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, CNN reported. The victims included an 8-month-old baby girl and her grandmother. Many names have not been made public.
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The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Fire officials in NY say the fatal fire that broke out in the Bronx on Thursday was caused by a child playing with a kitchen stove.
Fifty-nine-year-old Thierno Diallo says he was asleep in his ground floor apartment when he heard banging on the door. It took him a moment to realize what was happening.
Some families in the apartment building are part of the parish so he rushed to the location "as soon as I could get there", he said. He ran out in his bathrobe, jacket and sandals. Among them was 28-year-old Emmanuel Mensah, who rescued a number of people on Thursday night, then went back into the burning building where he died of smoke inhalation.
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Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a briefing late Thursday that additional residents of the building were fighting for their lives with serious injuries.
The fire was first reported shortly before 7 p.m. local time.
About 170 firefighters fought the fire and rescued fleeing tenants, working in temperatures in the teens. The apartment building at 2363 Prospect Ave., is about half a mile from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in the Bronx, the northernmost borough in New York City.
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