Four children, between 3 and 11 years old, and two adults died early Wednesday in a fire in an apartment in the New York suburb of Harlem, authorities said.
The emergency services received a call from a neighbor around 01.40 local time (05.40 GMT) and when they arrived at the place, three minutes later, they found a large fire that affected the entire apartment, located on the fifth floor of a building publicly owned housing.
According to Daniel Nigro, chief fire department of New York, when the firefighters managed to reach the two bedrooms at the back of the apartment, they found the six dead victims.
“We had about 100 troops in place, it’s never easy, we are dedicated to saving lives and in this case we were not able,” Nigro told reporters, who conveyed his condolences to the relatives and friends of the deceased.
The authorities, who have not disclosed the identities of the victims for the time being, said the firefighters took more than an hour to achieve complete control of the fire.
The event took place in one of the 40 buildings that are part of the public housing complex Frederick E. Samuel, located in Harlem (in the north of Manhattan) and in which about 1,400 people reside.
One resident, Geraldo Morales, told the local channel WABC-TV that he woke up with a loud noise and fled down the fire escape.
Another neighbor, Jesse Scott, who lives across the street, explained to The New York Times that he saw an explosion and a large fireball, with flames coming out of the windows of the apartment.
For now the causes of the fire are unknown, but police sources consulted by that newspaper assure that everything points to something accidental. (EFEUSA) .-