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Child playing with stove apparently sparked NYC fire that killed 12

Firefighters respond to a building fire Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says investigators believe a Bronx fire that killed 12 was caused by a child playing with a stove.

Posted: Dec. 29, 2017 7:53 AM
Updated: Dec. 29, 2017 2:08 PM

NEW YORK (AP) - The latest on New York City's deadliest residential fire in decades (all times local):

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1:25 p.m.

A family is still waiting to find out what became of a relative who was staying in a New York City apartment building where a fast-moving fire killed 12 people.

Twum Bredu said Friday he hasn't yet gotten news of his 28-year-old brother, Emmanuel Mensah. Mensah was staying with a family that escaped safely from Thursday night's fire in a five-story Bronx building.

But no one could find Mensah. His family checked four hospitals.

Bredu says the family's still looking and hoping for word of him. He says: "That's my prayer."

Commissioner Daniel Nigro says the blaze was accidentally ignited by a 3 ½-year-old boy playing with the burners on his mother's stove.

It was the city's deadliest fire in decades, excluding the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

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10:50 a.m.

New York City's fire commissioner says a stairwell acted like a chimney and quickly spread a deadly fire that was started by a child playing with a stove.

Commissioner Daniel Nigro said Friday that the 3 ½-year-old boy had a history of playing with stove burners.

Twelve people, including four children, were killed in the Bronx apartment building fire Thursday night. Four people are still fighting for their lives. He says everyone has been accounted for.

Nigro stresses the importance of closing doors to help contain fires.

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10:10 a.m.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says investigators believe a Bronx fire that killed 12 was caused by a child playing with a stove.

De Blasio said Friday on WNYC that four people are still fighting for their lives following the fire Thursday night in the Bronx.

The New York Police Department says those who died include girls ages 1, 2 and 7, and a boy. His age was not given.

Some residents made it down fire escapes. But the flames moved so fast that many never made it out of their apartments.

Witnesses describe seeing burned bodies being carried away on stretchers and young girls who had escaped standing barefoot outside with no coats.

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8 a.m.

Police say four children are among the 12 people killed in New York City's deadliest residential fire in decades.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday on CNN that other people are still fighting for their lives. The Democrat says first responders saved at least 12 lives.

The New York Police Department says those who died in the Bronx fire Thursday night include girls ages 1, 2 and 7, and a boy. His age was not given.

Some residents made it down fire escapes. But the flames moved so fast that many never made it out of their apartments.

Witnesses describe seeing burned bodies being carried away on stretchers and young girls who had escaped standing barefoot outside with no coats.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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2:35 a.m.

Officials say New York City's deadliest residential fire in decades spread through every floor of a Bronx apartment building within a matter of minutes, killing 12 people and sending other residents scrambling down fire escapes to safety.

The blaze broke out Thursday night on the first floor of a five-story building.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says the dead include a child around a year old, while four more people are fighting for their lives.

Some tenants of the building climbed down fire escapes. But the flames moved so fast that many never made it out of their apartments.

Witnesses describe seeing burned bodies being carried away on stretchers and young girls who had escaped standing barefoot outside with no coats.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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11:15 p.m.

Residents of a Bronx apartment building where a deadly fire broke out are describing a chaotic scene.

The blaze Thursday night left 12 people dead including a child around a year old and four more people fighting for their lives.

Fifty-nine-year-old Thierno Diallo says he was asleep in his ground floor apartment when he heard banging on the door. Diallo says it took him a moment to realize what was happening. He says he heard people screaming, "There's a fire in the building!" He ran out in his bathrobe, jacket and sandals.

Neighborhood resident Robert Gonzalez, who has a friend who lives in the building, says she got out on a fire escape.

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro has called the fire, "historic in its magnitude," because of the number of lives lost.

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10:10 p.m.

New York City's mayor says 12 people have been killed in a Bronx apartment building fire including a child around a year old.

Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a briefing late Thursday that additional residents of the building were fighting for their lives with serious injuries.

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro called the fire, "historic in its magnitude," because of the number of lives lost.

The fire was reported just before 7 p.m. at a five-story building a block from the Bronx Zoo.

About 170 firefighters fought the fire and rescued fleeing tenants, working in temperatures in the teens.

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8:50 p.m.

The New York City mayor's press secretary says at least six people have died in a blaze at a Bronx apartment building on a frigid night, and several more have been injured.

Press Secretary Eric Phillips says the eventual toll is still uncertain. The Fire Department of New York said earlier that 15 people were seriously injured in the fire near the Bronx Zoo Thursday night.

About 170 firefighters are at the five-story, walk-up apartment house. Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio also plans to head there.

Temperatures are in the teens in New York, with winds making it feel like single digits.

One of the deadliest fires in recent memory happened elsewhere in the Bronx in 2007. Nine children and one adult died in a blaze sparked by a space heater.

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8:10 p.m.

The Fire Department of New York says a blaze raging in a Bronx apartment building has seriously injured 15 people.

The FDNY says in a tweet that's the number of injuries currently reported from the fire near the Bronx Zoo.

FDNY photos show ladders stretched to the roof of the five-story building. Some 170 firefighters are on the scene.

City Department of Buildings records show the building is a walk-up apartment house.

City officials are advising people in the area to close their windows to keep out the smoke.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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