THE BRONX (PIX11) — A year after 17 people, including eight children, died in a fire at a Bronx high-rise building, New York City officials on Monday reflected on the tragedy and stressed the importance of fire safety.
Most of the deaths were caused by smoke inhalation after a space heater sparked the fire at the Twin Parks building on East 181st Street in Fordham Heights. At least two self-closing doors failed to close during the blaze, officials said.
Since the deadly fire, city officials have reiterated the importance of functional self-closing doors because the doors keep smoke from spreading into rooms and hallways, according to FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanaugh.
The city has also inspected several buildings and pinpointed those that need improvement. Officials have also encouraged residents to practice closing doors year-round so it becomes more natural in an actual emergency.
“We’ve made a lot of positive changes out of this tragedy,” Kavanaugh said on PIX11 Morning News Monday morning.
In the year since the fire, the New York City Council has passed legislation to make space heaters safer and for self-closing doors to be fixed quicker, according to Bronx Councilwoman Pierina Sanchez. The FDNY is responsible for looking at self-closing doors in hallways and the NYC Housing of Preservation Development is in charge of making sure tenant doors function properly.
“We’re going to continue to pursue legislation that does more to protect tenants,” Sanchez said on PIX11 Morning News.
Watch the full interviews in the attached videos.