Bronx fire victims describe climbing through windows to get out

CeFaan Kim Image
Friday, December 29, 2017
Residents speak out about losing everything in fatal Bronx fire
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CeFaan Kim reports from the scene in Belmont, Bronx.

BELMONT, Bronx (WABC) -- The Bronx fire not only killed at least a dozen people, but forced residents out into the freezing weather on Thursday night.

It is like pouring salt on a wound, some residents lost everything and now they are out in the cold.

It's so cold they can't feel their bodies, but they can feel the pain of loss.

One resident told Eyewitness News she couldn't find half her family.

"We have to find her," the resident said.

Everything at the scene is frozen, except for her tears.

"I came out through the window," resident Matthew Igbinetion said. "Yeah, there was smoke everywhere. I couldn't see the door. The door was, I couldn't see the door. Was covered in smoke already."

Igbinetion says he got out on his second floor fire escape without his wallet, phone or keys.

Shivering violently, all he has right now is the blanket a stranger gave him. And now he also has something else from a thoughtful neighbor.

"I just gave him socks that's it. (Why, you're worried about what?) The feet. You got to keep them warm. Frost bite. That's the first thing," the neighbor said.

Another neighbor was out warming up feet of random strangers. His kindness, in some ways, was enough to give these residents hope.

"I've been through three fires. It's not easy," he said.

He's not the only neighbor out there opening up their arms to those in need.

The Red Cross responded to the site, and women from next door brought out piles of jackets and sneakers.

"It's human nature. It's fine. It's fine," she said. "They're going to need it more than I am."

Meanwhile, to stay warm we saw some residents jumping in and out of random running cars.

The Office of Emergency Management and the MTA sent buses to serve as temporary relief from the elements.