Father: Army Soldier Died Trying To Save People From Bronx Fire

The blaze swept out the apartment doorway to higher floors of the five-story building, fanned by fresh oxygen each time frightened tenants flung open windows. "He helped his roommate's wife and children, they were trying to come out to the stairs and he stopped them". When the child's mother noticed the fire, she grabbed him and another child and left the building, leaving the door open, FDNY officials said. His mother discovered the fast-moving fire when she heard the child's screams from another room. "It took the fire so quickly upstairs that people had very little time to react". At least 12 people died in the fire.

"He just came for the holidays", he said of Emmanuel, who was staying in an apartment with friends. She spent the night at an aunt's house. It was the deadliest fire in the city in more than a quarter century.

According to Daniel A Nigro, the city fire commissioner, who was quoted by the New York Times, the boy who turned on the gas stove inadvertently had a history of being fascinated with gas burners. A fire in a home in another part of the Bronx killed 10 people, including nine children, in 2007.

The management company for the building's owner, D&E Equities, said it was talking to city officials and was "shocked and saddened" by the deaths and injuries. But the flames moved so fast, spreading through every floor of the building within minutes, that many never made it out of their apartments.

Police and fire authorities are investigating whether fire preventive equipment, such as alarms and fire-retardant doors, were in working order. "If, unfortunately, you do have a fire in your apartment, then you must close the door when you exit because the results if you don't are what happened here last night". 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. Francis' niece, Shantay Young, 19, also perished in the fire. Of course, there are heroes in everyday life - not all of them heroes because they pull people from burning buildings.

The American Red Cross set up an aid station for survivors at a local high school, providing food, blankets, and other support, including temporary housing, to the displaced.

The cause remained under investigation. Fire department officials stood beneath a tent at the intersection, handing out fliers with information about kitchen safety and free smoke detector installations.

Alexander Hamilton said, "There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism". "You think of those kids [who were killed] and you just imagine what those families are going through".

  • Joey Payne