New York – Fire officials say that their initial investigation into a fatal apartment fire has shown significant equipment failures. In addition, protocols meant to prevent such tragic disasters were not properly followed. The deadly fire in a residential housing building in the Bronx claimed the lives of at least 17 fire victims. Of these victims, reports show that 8 of them were children who died in the fire. Investigators note that the initial cause of the accidental fire was a faulty malfunctioning heater that was left on after residents left the apartment. The portable electric faulty heater apparently shorted and sparked, causing it to catch on fire. Public safety experts say that sale of such a dangerous product should be banned, as it easily can contain defective parts. The use of such a well-known fire-prone heating device has long been discouraged, especially when used in a room that in unattended. Safety protocols say that such a device should be turned off when one leaves the area in order to prevent a dangerous situation that can lead to melting, malfunction and fires.
Spread of the deadly smoke from the fire was caused when the automatic closing arm of the door was broken. That equipment failure led to the quick envelopment of the building in smoke that suffocated multiple residents. Firefighters reported that they found several of the smoke inhalation victims collapsed in the stairwells. Safety experts say that building codes normally include venting of potential smoke from a building fire out of the stairwells. They explain that this is important to provide a mode of egress from a multi-story building fire like this one. See this article for more information and videos about the equipment malfunctions and errors that led to these multiple fire deaths.
Photo for illustrative purposes only. Photo Credit via Mike Goad [License]