More than 100 people gathered Tuesday night for a candle guard in honor of the victims of the horrific Bronx fire – including New York Justice Minister Letitia James, who vowed to investigate the deadly fire.
“I will also use the law both as a sword and as a shield to get to the bottom of this fire,” James told the crowd of mourners outside 333 E. 181st St. – where Sunday morning inferno broke out and killed 17 people and injured a dozen others.
“There’s a lesson to be learned about government neglect … and there’s a lesson to be learned as to why this continues to happen in this corner of the Bronx,” James said.
Officials have blamed the fire on a faulty space heater inside a duplex on the 3rd floor of the 19-story building.
Two defective doors that never closed automatically, one in the duplex and another on the 15th floor, allowed the smoke to flow into the hallway before rising up the stairwells and spreading throughout the building, officials said.
By law, doors to apartments and stairwells in New York City must be spring-loaded – so they can be closed themselves.
The site of Sunday’s deadly fire was cited six times by city inspectors for not maintaining its self-closing apartment doors from 2013 to 2019 under the building’s previous owner, records show.
New York City Public Prosecutor Jumaane Williams and Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson also attended the vigil.
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