The fire in a 19-story building in New York City took as many as 19 lives. It was in a Bronx apartment block and happened at around 11 a.m. local time. Nine of the dead were children.

Fire department Commissioner Daniel Nigro said there were victims on every floor. He described the smoke as "unprecedented" and added that the death toll was the worst ever in New York in the last three decades.

Mayor Eric Adams said that apart from the deaths, people were sent to hospitals. Several of them were in critical condition. A few days earlier, there was a fire in Philadelphia.

It was also in an apartment, and the death toll was 12, including eight children.

Some 200 firefighters were sent to tackle the blaze. In the opinion of officials, the source of the fire was a malfunctioning electric heater. It seems fire was on two floors, but the smoke had spread to every nook and corner. The area has a large population of migrants.

The Governor of New York pledged to extend assistance to survivors

Apart from the deaths, others suffered injuries. Some had to be taken to hospital. Among them, a few are reported to be in critical condition.

Mayor Eric Adams said: "The impact of this fire is going to bring a level of pain and despair to our city." New York Governor Kathy Hochul described the events as "a night of tragedy." She talked about creating a fund to extend compensation for the support of the survivors.

The fund would cater to finding new housing, burial costs, etcetera.

The Mayor urged those impacted by the fire to seek assistance from the authorities. They should not worry about immigration status and be assured about secrecy; New York Senator Chuck Schumer, on his part, pledged to extend immigration support so that families could come together in times of grief.

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The majority of those injured were located on the upper floors and likely suffered from severe smoke inhalation. The fire started in the morning in a duplex apartment on the third floor of a high-rise building. It is a 19-story building built in 1972 and has 120 units.

The source of the fire is believed to be a malfunction of an electric space heater in a bedroom.

Smoke alarms were in operating condition, and the authorities had begun an investigation.

Mayor Eric Adams said this was one of the worst fires in New York City

Speaking to the media, Mayor Eric Adams said: "This is going to be one of the worst fires we have witnessed here in modern times in the city of New York." ABC News talks about videos posted on social media that reveal fire gushing out of the windows. The residents were mostly Muslims and people from Gambia. During last year, 73 people died in New York City fires. A few days back, there was another fire incident from a lithium-ion battery in the Bronx. The authorities will investigate to ascertain how the fire started.