Six people, including four children, died early Wednesday after a fast-moving fire ripped through an affordable housing apartment building in New York City's Harlem neighborhood, police and fire officials said.
Emergency officials responded around 1:40 a.m. to the Fred Samuels Houses, a New York City Housing Authority building in upper Manhattan, after flames broke out on the fifth floor of the seven-story structure, the New York Post eported.
“As soon as I saw the flames it was literally in one apartment. They were as vibrant and destructive as possible. It wasn’t pretty. I heard glass breaking, kids yelling,” Abdul Salaam, 25, said. He said he noticed the blaze from the street and called 9-1-1.
“As the fire is spreading I heard actual voices screaming,” he told the Post. “They were clearly in fear for their lives.”
A man, woman, two girls, and two boys, all believed to be family members, were pronounced dead at the scene, police said. FDNY discovered the bodies after firefighters extinguished the flames and cleared residents from the building.
Police said the fire appeared to be an accident. Investigators were looking into the cause of the fire.