NEW YORK (CBS News) — Twelve people died in a three-alarm fire in New York City on Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. The victims included a one-year-old child.
Temperatures in New York were in the high teens Thursday night, with wind chills in the single digits, CBS New York reports.
The blaze was in a five-story building, a block from the grounds of the Bronx Zoo. A spokesman for Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio, Eric Phillips, said earlier in the night there were at least six fatalities, but “will be more. Horrible.”
About 170 firefighters responded to the scene, and were up against extreme cold as they fought the blaze.
“All I saw was this kid in the fire escape with their property, and the flames were still going as the kids were, you know, on the fire escape,” witness Rafael Gonzalez told CBS New York. “What woke me up was the smoke, because I thought it was my building.”
One of the deadliest fires in recent memory happened elsewhere in the Bronx in 2007. Nine children and one adult died in a blaze sparked by a space heater.