22 Injured, 2 Critically, In Upper East Side High-Rise Fire

WCBS 880 Newsroom
January 14, 2020 - 6:44 am

Anthony Behar/Sipa Press


NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Twenty-two people were injured—and two of them were fighting for their lives—after a fire at a luxury high-rise apartment building on the Upper East Side early Tuesday morning.

The fire broke out around 2 a.m. on the 24th floor of a 41-story building on East 72nd Street, near York Avenue, according to FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Joseph Ferrante.

By the time it was brought under control an hour or so later, 22 people had been injured. Eighteen of them were transported to area hospital, with two suffering critical injuries, two suffering serious injuries and 14 suffering minor injuries. Four refused medical attention.

Among the injured was a child and four firefighters, who suffered minor injuries, Ferrante said.

Ferrante said the fire started in a kitchen on the 24th floor and spread to the hallway because the people in that apartment left their apartment door open. Reports say they passed out before they could make it out.

“The door opened is what changed this fire completely,” Ferrante said. “It turned a one-room kitchen fire into a fire that spread throughout the upper floors of the building. We had multiple, numerous phone calls from apartments above, all the way to the roof, complaining of smoke, people trapped, all due to the fact that door was left open. Had the door been closed, this would have been a one-apartment, one-room fire.”

The two victims on the 24th floor were believed to be the victims in critical condition.