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A fire broke out in a century old apartment building only 1 block away from the famous Bronx Zoo. Even though it only took the New York Fire Department 3 minutes to respond, at least 12 people died in the fire that spread quickly through the older structure. Five of those that died were reported dead at the scene. Among the dead was a 1-year-old.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that as fire department personnel manage to search through the apartment building, they may discover more victims. It’s the deadliest fire in New York City in over 25 years.

(USA Today) – A four-alarm fire in the Bronx late Thursday killed at least 12 people and injured several more, authorities said.

The dead included a child of around a year old, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a briefing outside the building. Four more residents were seriously injured and fighting for their lives, he said.

“We may lose others as well,” de Blasio said.

The baby was found in her mother’s arms in a bathtub, the New York Post reported. Both were dead, the paper said.

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro called the fire “historic in its magnitude.”

“Our hearts go out to every person who lost a loved one here and everyone who is fighting for their lives,” he said.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation, Nigro said…

The problem with many of the nation’s big historic cities is that many of the buildings, including apartment complexes, are at least a century or more old, meaning that building materials will have become more flammable. This causes fires to spread faster, trapping many people. I recall visiting family in a Bronx apartment building years ago and they referred to their building as a fire trap, as escape was not easy or fast.

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