Survivors of the New York City apartment building that was engulfed in flames Thursday night described their harrowing attempts to escape the blaze.
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The deadly fire was sparked by a 3-year-old boy who was playing with a stove on the first floor Thursday evening, city officials said.
One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told ABC New York station WABC that when he opened the main door to his apartment, he saw a big, black cloud.
He said he then led his four children to the fire escape outside his third-floor apartment, handing them one by one to a firefighter, while he himself waited on the fire escape for about 30 minutes in the frigid air, he said.
The man lost everything in the fire but is grateful for his safety, he said.
“I just thank God,” he said. “… I know nothing’s going to happen to us. I have that faith.”
The burned-out halls of the building are seen in video released by New York fire officials on Friday. Soot and ash cover the hallway and stairwell from floor to ceiling.
Video footage of the burned out hallway and stairwell of 2363 Prospect Ave in the Bronx, where a 5th alarm fire killed 12 people. #FDNY Fire Marshals determined the cause of the fire to be a young child playing with the burner on a stove pic.twitter.com/MwcuxX6j8k
— FDNY (@FDNY) December 29, 2017
Resident Reginald Remnbhanie told WABC that most people were trapped inside the building because the fire escape outside was full of people.
“There was no room for people to come out,” Remnbhanie said.