Apartment Fire Breaks Out in Bronx, NY

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January 9th, 2022

A tragic fire that killed 17 people and injured 60+ broke out in a 19-story residential building in Bronx, NY around 11:00 am on the 9th of January 2022. The fire originated in a duplex on the second and third floors of the building but never extended past the unit and the hallway nearest the apartment, according to FDNY Commissioner Dan Nigro. Smoke generated from the duplex blaze was able to filter out through an open door and spread throughout the 19-story structure. The fire is believed to have started due to a malfunctioning electric space heater.

The FDNY estimated that 200 of its members responded to the fire shortly after 11:00 a.m. and upon arrival found that smoke had already extended the entire length of the building. By 1 p.m., the department had the 5-alarm fire knocked down.

A historical case-study article written by the FDNY from a fire that occurred at this same location in 1986, noted that apartments in the building were installed with double-locked fireproof self-closing doors and smoke detectors. It also said the compactor shaft and compactor rooms had fire sprinklers installed, but it doesn’t make clear whether sprinklers were installed throughout the building. According to FDNY Commissioner Dan Nigro, the functionality of the building’s fire alarms was under investigation.

Automatic sprinklers remain the best defense against fire. Properly designed and maintained automatic sprinklers may have suppressed/controlled this fire in the early stages and mitigated smoke development. Fire alarm systems should be inspected and tested regularly as required by local codes and NFPA 72. Fire doors should be inspected and tested regularly per local codes and NFPA 80. Contact Risk Logic to have an experienced property loss prevention consultant analyze the passive and active fire protection features at your facility.