BRONX, New York -- A small child playing with a stove in a first-floor apartment appeared to be the cause of a fast-moving fire that killed at least 12 people in a Bronx apartment building, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said this morning.
In a news conference a day after the inferno in the New York borough, the mayor conveyed preliminary findings from FDNY, including that the blaze was accidental from "everything we can see."
De Blasio added there did not appear to be anything problematic with the building or its fire safety.
The cause of the fast-moving fire remains under investigation.
De Blasio already called it the worst fire tragedy in NYC in at least a quarter of a century.
The victims killed were eight adults and four children -- ranging in age from 1 to 63. Four people remain in critical condition.
"It is an unspeakable tragedy, and families have been torn apart," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
The five-alarm fire broke out just before 7 p.m. on Prospect Avenue near East 187 St. on the first floor of the five-story building.
The flames quickly spread up to the fifth floor. The building is described as "non-fireproof" and is highly combustible.
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More than 170 firefighters responded to the scene.
The fire was brought under control just after 9 p.m. The scene is described as having a very heavy smoke condition. The victims died on every floor of the building.
"In a department that's certainly no stranger to tragedy we're shocked by this loss," FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.
The Office of Emergency Management and the MTA sent buses to the location to accommodate residents that have been evacuated from the building.
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"This is the worst fire tragedy we have seen in this city in at least a quarter century," Mayor de Blasio said during a press conference at the scene. "Based on the information we have now, this will rank as one of the worst losses of life to a fire in many, many years."
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Deadly apartment fire appears to have started by child playing with stove, NYC mayor says