|Date||January 9, 2022|
|Time||c. 10:55 a.m. (UTC−05:00)|
|Cause||Electrical space heater|
On the morning of January 9, 2022, a high-rise fire killed 17 people,including 8 children, at the Twin Parks North West, Site 4, high-rise apartment building in the Bronx, New York City, United States. Forty-four people were injured, and 32 with life-threatening injuries were sent to five different borough hospitals. Fifteen were in critical condition the day after the fire.
It was the third-worst residential fire in the United States in four decades,and the deadliest fire in New York City since the Happy Land nightclub fire in 1990, which occurred nearby and claimed 87 lives. The Bronx fire was also the second major residential fire in the Northeastern United States within a one-week period, occurring four days after a fire in Philadelphia public housing resulted in 12 deaths.
Investigators determined that the fire was caused by a defective space heater bursting into flames. Smoke spread through the building as a result of two malfunctioning self-closing doors, causing deaths throughout the building. The fire was largely confined to one apartment; all of the persons killed in the fire died from smoke inhalation,while a dozen critically injured people were badly burned.
The 19-story residential building, Twin Parks North West, Site 4, contains a total of 120 apartments.It is located on 333 East 181st Street near Tiebout Avenue. It is in the central Bronx, and part of the western segment of a "scatter-site" development project spanning the Fordham, Tremont and East Tremont neighborhoods. It was built in 1972 as part of a state program to provide affordable housing. Twin Parks won architectural awards and was widely hailed at the time as the "cutting edge of urban design", though it failed to live up to its initial promise.
In 1977, the New York Daily News reported that Urban Development Corporation buildings, including the building that was the site of the 2022 fire, had inferior electrical wiring that could pose a fire hazard. The source of the problem was that under its mandate from the state, the UDC was not subject to building codes and other municipal regulations, and could issue its own certificates of occupancy. Inspectors with the Board of Fire Underwriters found "building violations of an electrical nature" at 333 East 181st Street, and another building at Twin Parks, along with other UDC properties.
Twin Parks North West, Site 4, is currently owned and operated by a private partnership between LIHC Investment Group, Belveron Partners, and Camber Property Group, which purchased it along with other Bronx buildings in early 2020.Camber's co-founders include Rick Gropper, a housing adviser to Mayor Eric Adams.
At the time of the 2022 fire, the building housed a large Muslim West African population, notably many immigrants from The Gambia, as well as smaller communities from Mali and Burkina Faso.Most of the Gambian and Gambian American residents of the building are from the same town of Allunhari (also spelled Allunhare), a community of approximately 5,500 people in the Upper River Division of The Gambia. Gambians from Allunhari began moving to the building around 1980.
Just before 11 a.m. EST, an electric space heater ignited a fire in a duplex apartment on the second and third floor. The building's fire alarm system was triggered immediately. Although the first 9-1-1 calls were placed by neighbors who heard the alarms, some residents claimed that false alarms were common, and many initially believed that there was no fire or need to evacuate.
|| BBC News with Eyewitness Interviews|
The fire itself was ultimately confined to the duplex apartment and the adjacent hallway, but heavy smoke quickly impeded visibility for escaping occupants.Smoke quickly spread from the unit's open door to the rest of the building, hampering other residents attempting to evacuate. Some residents recalled that the stairwells were especially lethal during the incident, and one reported "tripping over bodies."
Within 3 minutes after ignition, the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) and other emergency services began arriving.Rescuers found victims suffering from severe smoke inhalation on every floor of the building, some of them were in cardiac or respiratory arrest. The main challenge to firefighters' progress was the massive quantity of smoke generated by the fire, which extended the entire height of the building. Many continued to work through the life-threatening conditions even after exhausting their oxygen supplies.
Around 200 firefighters responded in total, p.m. Seventy-two people were taken to local hospitals, of whom 34 were under age 18.and the incident was ultimately upgraded to a five-alarm fire. The fire was declared under control by 3:30
Seventeen people were killed,including eight children, while 44 people were injured; 34 of the victims were under the age of 18. About a dozen critically ill patients were transferred to specialized burn units in Manhattan, Westchester County and the Bronx after being stabilized at local hospitals. All the deaths were due to smoke inhalation, with survivors treated for that as well.
Among the victims was an entire Gambian immigrant family of five, including three children aged between 5 and 12, who fled an apartment on the top floor only to be overcome by smoke.Another family lost four members.
Identification of the dead was hampered by many not carrying identification. Tattoos, body jewelry, nail art and scars were used for identification purposes by the medical examiner’s office, as well as DNA matching. The result was a lag in identifying victims, especially children, 12.but all of the victims were identified by January
FDNY investigators determined that the fire was caused by an electric space heater. The device had ignited a mattress after being left to run continuously for a "prolonged period." As of 10 January 2022 [update] , the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission was investigating if the space heater itself had malfunctioned. One resident stated that cold indoor temperatures were an ongoing problem requiring the additional use of space heaters; while the building incurred 3 heating-related complaints in 2021, none were outstanding at the time of the fire. New York City housing laws require that landlords maintain indoor temperatures of at least 68 °F (20 °C) during the day, but a 2017 housing survey estimated that nearly 27% of households in the Fordham neighborhood utilized supplemental heat sources like space heaters.
The fire (and initial propagation of smoke) was stoked by the involved unit's door remaining open after its occupants had escaped. While the building did not (nor was it required to)[ citation needed ] have sprinklers in most areas, it did conform to a 2018 city law requiring self-closing mechanisms on all apartment doors in buildings containing more than three units.
According to the property owners, maintenance staff checked the involved unit's self-closing mechanism in July 2021 and found it to be in working order. After the fire, investigators found it inoperable — along with those on several other doors throughout the building.Among the other failed mechanisms was one on a 15th-floor stairwell door; this second open door created a flue effect that rapidly accelerated the spread of heavy smoke throughout the rest of the building.
Survivors of the blaze filed two lawsuits on January 12, claiming the tragedy was preventable and was due to negligence.At least one of the plaintiff's attorneys is seeking class-action status against the three owners of the complex and the city and is seeking up to $3 billion in compensatory and punitive damages for the tenants.
In a post-incident press conference, Commissioner Nigro said that when fires occur in high-rise fireproof buildings, "people should shelter in place," and that "it’s safer to be in your apartment than to venture out and try to get down the stairs and sometimes into a much more dangerous situation".
Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City, announced that the city authorities would work to ensure Islamic funeral and burial rites for those killed in the fire would be respected, and Muslim leaders would be sought to help with the process and aid residents.
Bronx-native and rapper Cardi B pledged to cover the funeral expenses of all 17 victims as well as repatriation costs for a number of the victims who are to be buried in Gambia.
Multiple organizations spoke out about the fire and highlighted concerns such as fire safety and fire prevention measures that have not been updated due to being constructed prior to such requirements. Other organizations used the space heater as the ignition point to highlight those that were currently living in buildings without heat that may have to utilize other means; such as a space heater for heat.
The Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, is a complex of bridges and elevated expressway viaducts in New York City. The bridges link the boroughs of Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx. The viaducts cross Randalls and Wards Islands, previously two islands and now joined by landfill.
Deutsche Bank Center is a mixed-use building on Columbus Circle in Manhattan, New York City. The building occupies the western side of Columbus Circle and straddles the border between Hell's Kitchen and the Upper West Side. It was developed by The Related Companies and Apollo Global Management, and designed by David Childs and Mustafa Kemal Abadan of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) is a botanical garden at Bronx Park in the Bronx, New York City. Established in 1891, it is located on a 250-acre (100 ha) site that contains a landscape with over one million living plants; the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, a greenhouse containing several habitats; and the LuEsther T. Mertz Library, which contains one of the world's largest collections of botany-related texts. As of 2016, over a million people visit the New York Botanical Garden annually.
Canarsie is a mostly residential neighborhood in the southeastern portion of Brooklyn, New York City. Canarsie is bordered on the east by Fresh Creek Basin and East 108th Street; on the north by Linden Boulevard; on the west by Ralph Avenue; on the southwest by Paerdegat Basin; and on the south by Jamaica Bay. It is adjacent to the neighborhoods of East Flatbush to the west, Flatlands and Bergen Beach to the southwest, Starrett City to the east, East New York to the northeast, and Brownsville to the north.
Trump Tower is a 58-floor, 664-foot-tall (202 m) mixed-use skyscraper at 721–725 Fifth Avenue in the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood of New York City, between 56th and 57th Streets. It serves as the headquarters for the Trump Organization. Additionally, it houses the penthouse condominium residence of businessman, real estate developer, and former U.S. president Donald Trump, who developed the building and named it after himself. Several members of the Trump family also live, or have resided, in the building. The tower stands on a plot where the flagship store of department-store chain Bonwit Teller was formerly located.
Orchard Beach is a public beach in the Bronx, New York City. The beach is part of Pelham Bay Park and is situated on the western end of Long Island Sound. Sometimes called the Bronx Riviera, Orchard Beach is the only public beach in the Bronx.
The Grand Concourse is a 5.2-mile-long (8.4 km) thoroughfare in the borough of the Bronx in New York City. Grand Concourse runs through several neighborhoods, including Bedford Park, Concourse, Highbridge, Fordham, Mott Haven, Norwood and Tremont. For most of its length, the Concourse is 180 feet (55 m) wide, though portions of the Concourse are narrower.
Starrett City is a housing development in the Spring Creek section of East New York, in Brooklyn, New York City. It is located on a peninsula on the north shore of Jamaica Bay, bounded by Fresh Creek to the west and Hendrix Creek to the east. Starrett City contains both residential and commercial buildings. The residential portion of the property contains eight "sections" in a towers in the park layout. The complex also contains a community and recreation center, as well as two schools.
The Al Hirschfeld Theatre, originally the Martin Beck Theatre, is a Broadway theater at 302 West 45th Street in the Theater District of Midtown Manhattan in New York City. Opened in 1924, it was designed by G. Albert Lansburgh in a Moorish and Byzantine style and was constructed for Martin Beck. It has 1,404 seats across two levels and is operated by Jujamcyn Theaters. Both the facade and the interior are New York City landmarks.
The Longacre Theatre is a Broadway theater at 220 West 48th Street in the Theater District of Midtown Manhattan in New York City, United States. Opened in 1913, it was designed by Henry B. Herts. The theater, named after the historical moniker of Times Square, has 1,077 seats and is operated by the Shubert Organization. Both the facade and the auditorium interior are New York City landmarks.
Beekman Place is a small street located in the Turtle Bay neighborhood on the East Side of Manhattan, New York City. Running from north to south for two blocks, the street is situated between the eastern end of 51st Street and Mitchell Place, where it ends at a retaining wall above 49th Street, overlooking the glass apartment towers at 860 and 870 United Nations Plaza, just north of the headquarters of the United Nations. "Beekman Place" also refers to the small residential enclave that surrounds the street itself. It is named after the Beekman family, who were influential in New York City's development.
Penn South, officially known as Mutual Redevelopment Houses and formerly Penn Station South, is a limited-equity housing cooperative development located between Eighth and Ninth Avenues and West 23rd and 29th Streets, in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. The complex has 2,820 units in ten 22-story buildings. Penn South is so named because of its location southwest of New York Penn Station.
The Alwyn Court, also known as The Alwyn, is an apartment building at 180 West 58th Street, at the southeast corner with Seventh Avenue, in the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood of New York City. The Alwyn Court was built between 1907 and 1909 and was designed by Harde & Short in the French Renaissance style. It is one of several luxury developments constructed along Seventh Avenue during the late 19th and early 20th century.
Ritchie John Torres is an American politician from New York. A member of the Democratic Party, Torres is the U.S. representative for New York's 15th congressional district. The district covers most of the South Bronx. It is one of the smallest districts by area in the country, covering only a few square miles.
The original World Trade Center was a large complex of seven buildings in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. It opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. At the time of their completion, the Twin Towers—the original 1 World Trade Center at 1,368 feet (417 m); and 2 World Trade Center at 1,362 feet (415.1 m)—were the tallest buildings in the world. Other buildings in the complex included the Marriott World Trade Center, 4 WTC, 5 WTC, 6 WTC, and 7 WTC. The complex contained 13,400,000 square feet (1,240,000 m2) of office space.
On the night of December 28, 2017, a fire tore through an apartment building in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx. Thirteen people died, and fourteen others were injured. At the time, it was the deadliest fire in New York City in 25 years, being surpassed a little over four years later by another apartment fire in the Bronx that killed seventeen people.
Edenwald Houses are a housing project in the Eastchester and Laconia neighborhoods of the Bronx, New York City. Established on October 30, 1953, the project consists of forty buildings, 3 and 14 stories tall with 2,039 apartment units. It covers a 48.88-acre development is bordered by Grenada Place, East 225th Street, and Baychester and Laconia Avenues. It is owned and managed by New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and is the largest development in the Bronx.
The Beaux-Arts Apartments are a pair of apartment towers on 307 and 310 East 44th Street in the East Midtown and Turtle Bay neighborhoods of Manhattan in New York City. Designed by Raymond Hood and Kenneth Murchison, the Beaux-Arts Apartments were constructed between 1929 and 1930. The complex was originally designed with 640 apartments.
Fleetwood Park was a 19th-century horse racing track in what is now the Morrisania section of the Bronx in New York, United States. The track was used for harness racing around a 1-mile course. The races were a popular form of entertainment, drawing crowds as large as 10,000 spectators, who would come from Manhattan and Brooklyn. One travel guide described it as "the most famous trotting track in the country".
Twin Parks is a housing development in the Bronx, New York City. Its buildings were designed by leading architects, and were widely hailed as "the cutting edge of public design" when constructed in the early 1970s.
What went wrong?
To finance the project, the JV partners assumed New York State Housing Finance Agency and Freddie Mac loans serviced by Citibank, N.A. and JLL Capital Markets. The portfolio is broken into three phases. [...] Phase three consists of 331 units and two commercial spaces at 355-365 E 184th St and 333 E 181st St.