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Smoke alarm was disconnected in deadly Harlem apartment fire: sources

Posted: 3:37 PM, May 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-08 15:37:47-04

HARLEM, Manhattan — The smoke alarm in the apartment where a deadly blaze started early Wednesday was disconnected, an FDNY source said.

A stove burner appears to have been left turned on in the NYCHA apartment, officials said. Flames tore through the apartment from there, killing Andrea Pollidore, 45, her four children — two girls, ages 11 and 6, and two boys, ages 8 and 3 — and a 33-year-old man believed to be Pollidore’s stepson.

There is no indication the fire is suspicious, fire officials said.

The blaze is one of the deadliest fires in New York City since 13 people, including a baby, were killed in a fire started in the Bronx by a small child playing with a stove in late 2017.

The apartment in Harlem was equipped in June 2017 with a combination smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector,  according to Kathryn Garcia, the interim chairwoman at the New York City Housing Authority. It was also tested in January of this year.

Officials reminded residents Wednesday not to leave their stoves unattended.

The building where the fire took place was constructed in 1910 and renovated in 1994, Garcia said. It includes 62 units and houses 129 families.