By Gregg McQueen
A family of six was killed when an early morning fire swept through their fifth-floor apartment on Wednesday.
It is the deadliest fire in New York City since 2017, in which 12 residents were killed in a Bronx fire.
Four children — all age 11 or younger — and two adults died in the blaze, which broke out around 1:30 a.m. at the seven-story New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) building, located on the corner of 142nd Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said that firefighters responded within three minutes after receiving a call around 1:40 a.m.
The brick building is 109 years old and is part of the Frederick Samuel Houses, a 40-building complex operated by NYCHA with over 1,400 residents.
“When the firefighters arrived, fire met them at the door of the apartment, fire was out the windows on two sides of the building,” said Nigro, who explained that firefighters were able to push into the apartment quickly but were unable to save the victims, who were all found unconscious in two bedrooms.
Police have identified the victims as 45-year-old Andrea Pollidore, her children, Elijah, 3, Brooklyn, 6, Andre, 8, and Nakiyra, 11, and her 33-year-old brother, Matt Abdularaph.
“Hearing that four children were lost in a single family is just extraordinarily painful. Two adults, four children — this is a gut-wrenching moment for all of us,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said outside the building on Wednesday morning.