The deaths of 17 people involved in a fire this week in a high-rise in New York's Bronx borough were all due to smoke inhalation, officials said, according to a Fox News report.
The fire, which resulted in the deaths of eight children and nine adults Sunday morning kin a duplex apartment of a 19-story building in the Fordham Heights neighborhood, was ruled accidental, the Chief Medical Examiner's Office of New York City said in an email.
It was ''accidental, [the result of a] malfunctioning space heater,'' Fire Department of New York fire marshals said Monday. The building had no fire escapes or sprinklers.
As the blaze was unfolding, firefighters ''found victims on every floor and were taking them out in cardiac and respiratory arrest,'' Daniel Nigro, the FDNY commissioner, said in a press conference Sunday. ''That is unprecedented in our city.''
Several people were rushed to the hospital in critical condition, the youngest 3 years old. The American Red Cross has since provided temporary housing for 22 families, including 56 adults and 25 children, while others stayed with relatives.
Newly elected New York Mayor Eric Adams announced on Monday the creation of the Bronx Fire Relief Fund, which would provide aid to the displaced families.
''Yesterday's fire in the Bronx is an unspeakable tragedy, but I promise New York City will be there to help our neighbors through it,'' Adams said. ''The City stands ready to give impacted families all the support they need — it's what we do. Every dollar given to the Mayor's Fund will go directly to those affected by the fire; please give if you can, and together we will get through this.''
The mayor's office has said it would provide those displaced by the fire with access to safe housing.
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