Authorities in New York stated on Monday that they were looking into a possible “maintenance issue” with a door that did not close when a deadly fire broke out in a Bronx apartment building the day before, killing 17 people, including eight children.
At a press conference little over a week after taking office, New York City Mayor Eric Adams revealed the city’s medical examiner found the fire had claimed two fewer fatalities than the 19 declared on Sunday.
The fire started on Sunday morning at the 19-story Twin Parks North West complex, which provides low-income New Yorkers with inexpensive housing. Many of the people were members of the neighborhood’s substantial Gambian population.
“This is a worldwide tragedy because The Bronx and New York City reflect nationalities and cultures from all over the world,” Adams said during a press conference in front of the structure. “This is a problem that is still unfolding. It was an unfathomable catastrophe.”
Adams said he spoke with US President Joe Biden, who promised that the White House will assist “everything” New York City requires to deal with the fire’s consequences.
The disaster was expected to raise concerns about the safety of low-income municipal dwellings. It was the second catastrophic fire in a residential complex in the United States this week, after flames rushed through a public housing apartment building in Philadelphia early on Wednesday, killing 12 people, including eight children.