The article said smoke from the 1986 fire was banked down to the floor and engulfed entire hallways, seeping through the bottom of closed apartment doors “creating frightening and in some cases untenable conditions for the occupants inside.”
Residents who escaped Sunday’s fire also reported battling thick smoke as it filled the 19-story building.
A “malfunctioning” electric space heater in a duplex unit on the second and third floors sparked the fire and as the apartment’s residents fled, their door was left open, allowing the flames to spread as smoke traveled upward and took over much of the building, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said Sunday.
The door from the stairwell to the 15th floor was also left open, even though the doors were supposed to close automatically, officials said.
“The smoke spread throughout the building. Thus, the tremendous loss of life and other people fighting for their lives right now in hospitals all over the Bronx,” Nigro said.
The 1986 fire was believed to have originated in the building’s trash compactor, the WNYF article said.
Although no one died in the 1986 incident, the FDNY noted several fire safety issues in the building, including doors that were left propped open and contributed to the “severe smoke condition on all upper floors,” according to the publication.
The case study highlighted that a stairwell door propped open “to increase the normal ventilation” on one floor in conjunction with compactor shaft doors that were propped open on different floors “contributed to the severity of the subsequent fire,” the article reads.
The article noted that apartments in the building were installed with double-locked fireproof self-closing doors and smoke detectors. It also said the compactor shaft and compactor rooms had fire sprinklers installed, but it doesn’t make clear whether sprinklers were installed throughout the building.
The manner of death for all the victims of Sunday’s fire was determined to be an accident, according to the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME).
They ranged in age from 2 to 50-years old, police said.
Fatoumata Drammeh, 50, female; Foutmala Drammeh, 21, female; Muhammed Drammeh, 12, male; Nyumaaisha Drammeh, 19, female; Haji Dukary, 49, male; Fatoumata Dukureh, 5, female; Haja Dukureh, 37, female; Mariam Dukureh, 11, female; Mustapha Dukureh, 12, male; Omar Jambang, 6, male; Sera Janneh, 27, female; Haouwa Mahamadou, 5, female; Seydou Toure, 12, male; Fatoumata Tunkara, 43, female; Isatou Jabbie, 31, female; Hagi Jawara, 47, male; Ousmane Konteh, 2, male.
Some residents have been able to return to the top floor apartments, the New York City Emergency Management (NYCEM) told CNN.
“The process is ongoing and evolving,” said spokesperson Ines Bebea.
The agency was unable to provide a timeline for when or how many people will reenter the building, as the building’s management is notifying residents individually and “not rushing people back into…