WORLD New York fire death toll revised down to 17 with underlying issues raised


New York fire death toll revised down to 17 with underlying issues raised


06:59, January 11, 2022


NEW YORK, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from a major fire in a high-rise building in the Bronx borough of New York City was revised down to 17 from 19, according to New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

Speaking at a press briefing around noon on Monday, Adams said casualties from the fire included nine adults and eight children.

New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said there was a bit of double count and it's a bit of good news that the number of deaths isn't 19 but 17.

Nigro added that there are many people fighting for their lives in the hospitals and the death toll could increase again.

"We're certain that the fire started with a faulty portable electrical heater," said Nigro, noting investigation by fire marshals is still under way.

Earlier, Adams said that 19 people died in the fire including nine children.

Meanwhile, a number of people called for more attention to be paid to the heat issue there and landlords' responsibilities in response to the mayor's press briefing at NYC Mayor's Office Twitter account.

"We need to look at why the(y) had to use space heaters in the first place! If the apt was properly heated, they would have never had to use it. Obviously the Apt was too cold!" said a tweet from Kim_bk075.

Local government agencies and social organizations are working to provide support to victims of the fire as well as people evacuated from the apartment building known as Twin Parks North West.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said on Sunday evening that efforts would be made to rebuild lives and give victims hope, "especially those who came all the way from Africa, Gambia, in search of a better life right here in this great borough, the borough of Bronx."

Hochul announced that a compensation fund would be established for the victims of the fire to help them find new housing, for burial costs and other costs.

The Mayor's Fund to Advance NYC, a nonprofit organization that facilitates innovative public-private partnerships serving New Yorkers, is raising money to support victims of the fire in partnership with Mayor Adams and the City of New York.

As of Monday noon, a GoFundMe fundraiser for victims of the fire organized by the Gambian Youth Organization (GYO) has received over 400,000 U.S. dollars, more than double of its goal of 200,000 U.S. dollars.

The apartment building, built in the 1970s, is home to working-class families, many of whom depend on Section 8 rental assistance.

Adams said the building was home to many African immigrants who chose their homes for the close-knit community and short distance to local mosques. A significant number of the building's residents were practicing Muslims and originally from Gambia, according to a report by the New York Times.

"The pandemic, together with the underlying issues that contributed to the horrific fire, demonstrate that what happened Sunday in the Bronx was not simply an accident. It was the product of a social order that places no value on the lives of the working class," said a report by Daniel de Vries on the World Socialist Web Site.

New York City would fly flags at half-staff until sunset Wednesday as a mark of respect for the victims of the tragic fire, according to the mayor's office.

Terms of Service & Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy to comply with the latest laws and regulations. The updated policy explains the mechanism of how we collect and treat your personal data. You can learn more about the rights you have by reading our terms of service. Please read them carefully. By clicking AGREE, you indicate that you have read and agreed to our privacy policies

Agree and continue