FORDHAM, the Bronx (PIX11) — Five people, including a child and two firefighters, are being treated at a hospital after a fire broke out in a 37-unit apartment building in the Bronx Wednesday.
The injuries are not life threatening, according to the FDNY, but a variety of residents say that there were no fire alarms or smoke detectors in common areas of the building, and that it’s only a matter of luck — rather than warning — that they were able to escape with their lives.
The fire broke out around 8:25 a.m. in the building at 2718 Morris Avenue, residents said. 911 wasn’t called in until 8:33 a.m., according to the fire department. That’s apparently when the fire had started to spread severely, residents said.
“I heard, ‘Fire, fire, fire!'” resident Jumayi Sani said, as she looked at what was left of her home, hours after escaping. “Then I started smelling fire, so I opened the door and it was a lot of smoke.”
“We were trying to go out the window, [but] the detective kept saying [from outside of the building], ‘Stay, stay.’ He [was] going to come and get me.”
Sani said they were told it was safest for firefighters to lead her and her husband out of the building, and that’s what happened.
Five people were injured, according to the FDNY, including two firefighters. Of the three civilians injured, one was a child, according to local City Council member Pierina Sanchez. Their injuries are reported as minor.
However, many residents said that in retrospect, the situation could have easily been much worse due to lack of emergency notification.
“No smoke alarm,” Sani said. “I didn’t hear nothing about smoke alarm, no.”
Eric Fuller, another resident, said that the lack of smoke detectors or fire alarms in the common areas of the building meant that people who live there had to detect the danger themselves.
“I smelled wood burning, and then I was like, ‘That’s not normal. We don’t have anything like that,'” Fuller said. “I was like, ‘Hey!’ I got everybody up. ‘There was a fire. We have to go!'” he told the people in his apartment.
The fact that there was no alarm, he said, is disturbing. “It’s horrible,” said Fuller, “Like I should’ve been notified. My sense of smell saved us, but there wasn’t anything else available.”
Shirley Sanabria, who lives in the apartment directly below the one where the fire broke out, said that if it had ignited at a different time of day without alarms or detectors, it might have been all the worse.
“Thank God it wasn’t overnight,” she said.
JLP Metro Management is the owner and manager of the property, according to the local City Council member’s office. PIX11 News contacted JLP Metro Management regarding residents’ concerns but did not receive a response.