Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

NYC Blaze 'Started by 3-Year-Old Boy'

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

NYC Blaze 'Started by 3-Year-Old Boy'

Article excerpt

A THREE-YEAR-OLD boy playing with the burners on his mother's stove accidentally lit New York City's deadliest fire in decades, turning an apartment building into an inferno that killed 12 people.

Smoke and flames swept up the stairwell in minutes, blocking the main route to safety, the fire commissioner said.

The boy, his mother and another child were able to flee their firstfloor apartment. But they left the door open behind them, and it acted like a chimney that carried Thursday's fire out of the apartment and through the five-storey building, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. At least 20 of their neighbours scrambled out via fire escapes, but others could not.

"People had very little time to react," Mr Nigro said.

Although firefighters arrived in just over three minutes, "bravely entered the building and did everything they could - we did save a number of residents - this loss is unprecedented", he said. …

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