Bronx Fire That Injured 10 Was Accidental, FDNY Says

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The FDNY Fire Marshal announced Tuesday that an extra-alarm fire that left 10 people injured in the Bronx was accidental.

Damage to the electrical system in the building at 851 E. 163rd St. in the Melrose section of the Bronx was to blame for the fire on Monday, the FDNY said.

The FDNY said smoke alarms were present and operational, though many of the residents say their smoke alarms never went off.

The fire broke out just before noon Monday. Exclusive video obtained by CBS2 shows people scrambling down a fire escape and leaping to the ground.

More than 100 firefighters responded. Two of them suffered minor injuries, along with one police officer, who cut his hand on broken glass trying to rescue children.

Seven civilians were also injured, one seriously.

Cellphone video captured people climbing down ladders to escape the giant flames from the second floor of the building on 163rd Street.

“I saw a fireman come out with a lady in his arms,” said Hellen Matos. “I think she got burnt really bad.”

There were also heroes in the crowd. Alex Piniero, a security guard across the street, smelled smoke and ran in to save whoever he could.

“I seen a kid in the third floor screaming for his mom, but I run upstairs and I grabbed him, put him in my arms, I ran outside,” he said. “And then I saw a lady — she just fainted right in my arms in the first floor, and I carried her out.”

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