3-year anniversary of historic, tragic Bronx fire that killed 13

WABC logo
Monday, December 28, 2020
3-year anniversary of NYC fire that killed 13
EMBED <>More Videos

Monday marks three years since that tragic fire in the Bronx.

BELMONT, The Bronx (WABC) -- Monday marks the third anniversary of a tragic five-alarm fire in an apartment building in the Bronx that killed 13 people, the deadliest fire in New York City in a quarter century.

Authorities say the door to the Prospect Avenue apartment in the Belmont section was left open, allowing smoke and flames to spread into the hallway, staircase, and other floors.

The FDNY has released public service announcements reminding people that closing doors isolates fire and prevents smoke from spreading.

The victims included a baby, a toddler, a child, two teenagers, and eight adults.

PHOTOS from the scene:

1 of 46
Charred items sit on the fire escape of an apartment building where more than 10 people died in a fire a day earlier in the Bronx borough of New York, Friday, Dec. 29, 2017.
AP Photo/Julio Cortez

New York City officials said it appeared a young child playing with a stove caused the fire.

The child's mother then escaped the apartment with her kids but left the front door open, which acted like a chimney and allowed the fire to quickly travel up the stairs.

Four of the victims were members of the same family, and a soldier also died while saving building residents.

Emmanuel Mensah initially escaped the deadly fire but reentered the burning building at least three times to rescue others.

PHOTOS: Bronx fatal fire victims

1 of 8
49-year-old Solomon Donkor

The victims, whose ages ranged from 7 months to 63, were identified as:

-- 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

-- 27-year-old Holt Francis

-- 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

--63-year-old William Donkor


* More Bronx news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a News Tip