Malfunctioning Space Heater Blamed In Bronx Fire That Killed 19

New York City Fire Commissioner Dan Nigro said a malfunctioning electric space heater caused the Bronx apartment fire that killed 19 people, including nine children, and injured dozens of others Sunday morning.

The late-morning fire quickly expanded because a door in the two-level second-floor unit where the blaze started was either left open or did not automatically close after residents fled, he said.

"The marshals have determined through physical evidence, through firsthand accounts from the residents, that this fire started in a bedroom in a portable electric heater," Nigro said at an evening news conference.

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