At least 9 children have been confirmed to be among the 19 people who reportedly lost their lives and dozens others who sustained varying degrees of injuries following a fire outbreak that tore through a high-rise apartment building in New York on Sunday.
According to the city’s fire chief, the fire was caused by a portable electric heater.
Witnesses confirmed seeing trapped residents screaming for help from windows during the deadly inferno.
38-year-old Dilenny Rodriguez, who escaped with her children said “There were a lot of kids crying, ‘Help! Help! Help!”
Speaking with newsmen, Mayor Eric Adams said 19 people had been confirmed dead and 63 had been wounded, including several that were in a “critical condition.”
“This is going to be one of the worst fires in our history,” he said.
“Join me in praying for those we lost, especially the 9 innocent young lives that were cut short,” he added in a later tweet.
At least 200 firefighters responded to the blaze, which broke out just before 11:00 am (1600 GMT) on the second and third floors of a 19-story building in The Bronx.