Investigators say child’s play caused a massive fire in the Bronx.
The FDNY says flames broke out at a home on Carpenter Avenue and East 235th Street in Wakefield at around 12:30 p.m.
Officials say a rag caught fire as children were playing with it near a stove.
Investigators say it happened after an adult had stepped away.
They say when it caught fire; the kids panicked and threw the rag in a back room.
Three firefighters were taken to the hospital in critical condition, including one who nearly had his arm severed in an accident involving his truck.
“We had a very difficult 4th alarm earlier in the Bronx, a fast-spreading hot fire, on a hot day,” said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro. “It’s a day for prayers for those members, they’re all veteran members of the department.”
“Smoke was coming down, black smoke, it was enough to get to leave,” said one victim on the fire. “The kids, everybody ran, then the smoke started pouring out the door.”
“They call and tell me that there’s a fire next door,” said a neighbor. “So, I said ‘guess what, I’m coming.’ My mom called me back and she said that my house is on fire also.”
The Red Cross is assisting eight families affected by the fire.
One injured firefighter, a 54-year-old, suffered serious burns, according to the FDNY. Fire officials say he was treated and released.
In addition, a 34-year-old firefighter suffered heat stroke, and a 51-year-old firefighter suffered both heatstroke and a heart attack, the FDNY said. They are both listed as in critical but stable condition at Jacobi Hospital.
By Lori Chung