FDNY plea: Close doors during fires to save lives

Bronx

FORDHAM HEIGHTS, the Bronx — The FDNY urged New Yorkers to close doors when escaping fires on Sunday, hours after a blaze left 17 dead in the Bronx.

Officials initially said 19 people had died, but they revised the death toll on Monday.

The Fordham Heights blaze was New York City’s deadliest in decades. It was started by a malfunctioning space heater and quickly spread as the door to the apartment and a door to a stairwell were left open, allowing smoke to spread.

“FDNY urges New Yorkers to always close the door when escaping a fire,” the fire department tweeted. “Closing the door saves lives.”

Until Sunday, the city’s most deadly fire in years also involved a door that had been left open. In December of 2017, an unattended 3-year-old boy played with the family stove in a Belmont apartment. His mother rushed him and another child from the home, leaving the door open as they left. Thirteen people died.

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