Bronx fire: Firefighters fight a smoky fire in New York

The March 1986 fire was documented in the FDNY’s official training publication, WNYF, in which department members write highlighting fire incidents, protocol, and training, according to an FDNY spokesperson.

The article stated that smoke from the 1986 fire fell to the floor and engulfed entire hallways, seeping from under closed apartment doors “causing frightening and in some cases unsettling conditions for occupants inside ”

Residents who survived Sunday’s fire also reported battling thick smoke as it filled the 19-story building.

A “bad” electric space heater in a duplex unit on the second and third floors caught fire and as the apartment’s residents fled, their door was left open, spreading flames as smoke moved upward and into the building. Firefighters, Daniel Negro, gave this information on Sunday.

Officials said the door from the stairwell to the 15th floor was also left open, though the doors were supposed to close on their own.

“Smoke spread throughout the building. Thus, there has been a tremendous loss of life and the lives of others in the Bronx hospitals right now,” Negro said.

The WNYF article states that the 1986 fire was believed to have originated in the building’s garbage compactor.

Although no one died in the 1986 incident, the FDNY noted several fire safety issues in the building, including doors being left open and contributing to “severe smoke conditions on all upper floors,” according to the publication.

The case study highlighted that a stair door was opened on one floor “to increase general ventilation” in conjunction with compactor shaft doors that were open on different floors, “the severity of the subsequent fire”. contributed to,” the article reads.

The article mentions that apartments in the building were set up with double-lock fireproof self-closing doors and smoke detectors. It also said that fire sprinklers were installed in the compactor shaft and compactor room, but did not specify whether sprinklers were installed throughout the building.

Victims Identified

According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) of New York City, the manner of death of all the victims of Sunday’s fire was determined to be an accident.

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Police said his age was between 2 and 50 years.

He was:

Fatoumata Drameh, 50, female; Foutmala Drameh, 21, female; Muhammad Drameh, 12, male; Nyumaisha Drameh, 19, female; Haji Dukari, 49, male; Fatomata Dukureh, 5, female; Haja Dukureh, 37, female; Maryam Duqureh, 11, female; Mustafa Duqureh, 12, male; Omar Jambang, 6, male; Sera Janeh, 27, female; Hawa Mahamadou, 5, female; Sedou Touré, 12, male; Fatomata Tunkara, 43, female; Isatou Jabbi, 31, female; Hagi Jawara, 47, male; Osman Konteh, 2, male.

New York City Emergency Management (NYCEM) told CNN that some residents have been able to return to top-floor apartments.

“The process is ongoing and evolving,” said spokesman Ines Bebia.

Bebe said the agency was unable to provide a timeline for when or how many people would re-enter the building, as the building’s management is notifying residents individually and “is not taking people back to their apartments.” Is”.

The lawsuit seeks $3 billion in damages

According to court documents, tenants and relatives of the victims filed a class-action lawsuit against the current and previous owners of the building, seeking $2 billion in damages.

The city and various entities were given notice of a separate class-action lawsuit for alleged negligence in enforcing the building code, seeking $1 billion in damages.

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In a statement to CNN, New York City’s Law Department press secretary Nicolas Paolucci said, “It was a horrific tragedy and many lives were lost. This tragic incident is being actively investigated. Will review.”

City data shows there were at least four heat-related complaints and one complaint about a faulty self-closing door was reported last year to the Department of Housing Protection and Development, the agency that oversees housing development violations in the city. Went.

According to the agency, some of the breaches were repaired.

“HPD is working to ensure that critical breaches are addressed and that apartments are safe for return,” spokesman Jeremy House told CNN in a statement Wednesday.

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Bronx Park Phase III Preservation LLC, which purchased the complex in 2019 and was named in one of the lawsuits, issued a brief statement.

“We are devastated by this terrible tragedy and are cooperating fully with the fire department and other agencies as they continue the investigation.”

Attorney Robert Wilensky said he represents 22 plaintiffs in the lawsuits but expects that number to rise.

The lawsuit against the building’s owners alleges that the defendants were negligent on several fronts, including working smoke detectors, failing to provide adequate heat, failing intercom systems and failing sprinkler systems.

CNN’s Julie Inn, Toby Lyles, Kelly McCleary, Amir Vera and Liam Reilly contributed to this report.

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