5 Jamaicans Among 12 Killed In New York Fire


A report from Jamaica’s Gleaner.

Five Jamaicans are among 12 people who died in a massive fire at an apartment building in the Bronx in New York City last night.

Four are from the same family.

Their identities have not been released by New York City officials but The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre understands that among the five is 37-year-old Karen Francis, who is from Spanish Town in St Catherine.

Francis’ two children, two-year-old Kyle Francis and seven-year-old Kelesha Francis, along with her 19-year-old niece Chantae Young, are said to be among the dead.

Her husband Paul Francis survived but has been hospitalised in serious condition.

The fifth Jamaican is unidentified at this time.

In a release issued a short while ago, Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamina Johnson Smith said she was unable to confirm the deaths of the Jamaicans.

She expressed regret at the tragedy and said the Foreign Ministry was working with the Jamaican Consulate in New York to get details on the deaths.

In the meantime, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio described the apartment fire as the deadliest residential fire in decades.

The cause of the fire is blamed on a three-year-old child playing with a stove in one of the apartments.

City officials say the fire spread quickly through the five-story building, killing the 12 persons including four children.

The children who died in last night’s fire were girls aged one, two and seven and a boy whose age was not given.

Four people have been hospitalised in critical condition.

Excluding the September 11 attacks, it is the worst fire in the city since 87 people were killed at a social club fire in the Bronx in 1990

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