Experts sound alarm on heat safety after 9 adults, 8 kids die in Bronx fire

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – After one of New York City’s deadliest fires was caused as a result of a malfunctioning space heater, fire experts are sounding the alarm and reminding residents across the Twin Tiers to use their winter heating tools safely.

“Make sure that space heaters are plugged directly in the wall outlets, do not use extension cords,” Matthew Glashauser of the Bath Volunteer Fire Department said. “Check them before you use them and don’t leave mine overnight.”

Experts also recommend putting your space heater in the middle of the room away from curtains or blinds. Not only is that location safer, but it also helps maximize warmth in your home.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 25,000 residential fires, and more than 300 deaths, are caused as a result of space heaters each year in the United States.

Seventeen people, including eight children, now make up those statistics after they parished in a high-rise fire Sunday morning in the Bronx.

In addition, more than 40 people were injured in the flames, some of whom were considered to have life-threatening injuries, according to New York City Mayor Eric Adams and FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

“The door to that apartment was left open, causing the fire to spread and the smoke to spread,” Nigro said. “This fire took its toll on our city.”

The cause of the fire, which officials believe was the result of a malfunctioning space heater, is still under investigation.

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