Soldier home for Christmas died rescuing neighbors from Bronx fire

Soldier home for Christmas died rescuing neighbors from Bronx fire

"The stairway acted like a chimney", Nigro said.

The blaze broke out on the first floor of a five-story building just before 7 p.m. and quickly ripped through the roughly century-old structure, which stands in a row of similar apartment buildings a block from the grounds of the Bronx Zoo.

People began dropping off bags of coats and clothes - and even brand new toys - the night before the drive began Saturday morning.

"As a father, you always have to feel sad when you get such news about your son, and I thought maybe he's coming back", Mensah said. "Those that tried, a few of them perished".

City officials have declared the incident as the deadliest fire in New York City in over 25 years. Nigro said searches had been completed and everyone was accounted for. He emphasized that young children should not be left unattended, and those fleeing apartment fires should always shut doors behind them once the last person is out.

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"He brought four people out", his uncle Twum Bredu explains. More than 160 firefighters were called in to tackle what became a five-alarm fire. The National Guardsman, who was home for the holidays, died trying to rescue his neighbors.

Temperatures are in the teens in NY, with winds making it feel like single digits.

At least 14 families were homeless, and four of them were taken to hotels, according to the American Red Cross.

"What we think at this point is unfortunately it emanated from an accident - a young child playing with a stove on the first floor", de Blasio said on WNYC Radio "It spread rapidly upward ... accidental from everything we can see", the mayor said.
Shards of glass and chunks of ice littered the sidewalk outside.

City Department of Buildings records show the building is a walk-up apartment house.

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NYC Mayor Di Blasio held a press conference early Friday where he stated that the deadly fire was likely accidental.

The fire was put out well before midnight and the building is now being searched.

A priest in the Bronx, New York, tended to grieving families and asked for prayers for them as well as for victims of a December 28 fire, one of the deadliest in New York City and the borough's history, which left at least 12 dead and many fighting for their lives.

In 2007, 10 immigrants from Mali, including nine children, died after a space heater caught fire in a Bronx building.

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