22 hurt, 2 critically, in luxury high-rise fire on the Upper East Side

Adam Warner
January 14, 2020 - 6:16 am

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – Twenty-two people were injured—two of them critically—in a luxury high-rise apartment fire on the Upper East Side Tuesday morning, officials said.

The fire started broke out around 2 a.m. in the kitchen of an apartment on the 24th floor of the 41-story building on East 72nd Street, near the FDR Drive, according to FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Joseph Ferrante.

Upper East Side fire
Citizen App

The people in that apartment opened their door in a bid to escape but ended up losing consciousness, allowing smoke and flames to spread to other parts of the building, according to Ferrante.

“The door opened is what changed this fire completely,” Ferrante said. “It turned a one-room kitchen fire into a fire that spread throughout the upper floors of the building. We had multiple, numerous phone calls from apartments above, all the way to the roof, complaining of smoke, people trapped, all due to the fact that door was left open. Had the door been closed, this would have been a one-apartment, one-room fire.”

Citizen App video shows a heavy police and fire response at the scene around 2:30 a.m.

The fire department made quick work of the fire and it was brought under control around 3 a.m.

At least 22 people were injured, with more than a dozen of them hospitalized. Most of them, including a week-old baby, had non-life-threatening injuries. But two of the victims—the ones from the 24th floor—suffered from severe smoke inhalation. Two more were seriously injured.

Four firefighters were also among those injured in the inferno.