BELMONT, Bronx - An infant and children were among those killed in a fast-moving fire in New York City's Bronx borough Thursday night.
Twelve people died in the fire, which fire officials said was caused by child playing with a stove. Three people remain in critical condition at the hospital. All people who were in the building have been accounted for, officials said.
Four victims from one family have been identified as: 19-year-old Shawntay Young, 37-year-old Karen Stewart Francis, and her two daughters, 2-year-old Kylie Francis and 7-year-old Kelesha "Kelly" Francis.
Fifty-eight-year-old Maria Baptise and her 8-month-old granddaughter Amora Serenity Vidal also died, her brother confirms. The child's mother -- and Baptise's daughter -- is in the hospital with injuries sustained from the fire.
28-year-old Emmanuel Mensah had enlisted in the Army one year ago. It was his first time home on leave since enlisting.
"He's a kind person and he was trying to help people out," said Kwabena Mensah, the victim's father. "And I think that's what he was trying to do, and unfortunately he lost his life trying to do that."
PHOTOS: Bronx fatal fire victims
Here's what we know about the victims from police (this list will be updated as new information comes in):
Deceased fire victims:
- 7-month-old Amora Serenity Vidal
- 2-year-old Kylie Francis
- 7-year-old Kelesha "Kelly" Francis
- 19-year-old Shantay Young
- 17-year-old Hannah Donkor
- 28-year-old Emmanuel Mensah
- 37-year-old Karen Francis
- 48-year-old Gabriel Yaw Sarkookie
- 49-year-old Solomon Donkor
- 54-year-old Justice Opoku
- 58-year-old Maria Batiz
-William Donkor (age unknown)
Fire officials said the victims were found on every floor of the five-story building in the Belmont section.
The number of fatalities makes this the worst fire tragedy in NYC in at least 25 years.
More than 170 firefighters responded to the scene.
If you are concerned about the welfare of someone who may have been affected by the event and are unable to contact them, please call 311. From outside of NYC, you may call (212) 639-9675.
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