Space heater blamed for blaze had been left on for days, sources say

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The space heater suspected of sparking Sunday’s deadly Bronx apartment-building blaze had been left on for several days, FDNY sources said Tuesday.

The apartment where the fire started, killing at least 17 people and injuring dozens more, also had several space heaters, sources said.

Authorities have said the horrific blaze at 331 E. 181st Street originated with a space heater in unit 3N, sending deadly billowing smoke throughout the 19-story high-rise.

Inside the apartment where blaze started
Inside the apartment where the blaze started.
Inside the apartment where blaze started killing 17 and injuring dozens at  333 E181st St. the Bronx
The space heater had been left on for several days, sources said.

An official investigation into the blaze is ongoing.

Firefighters first responded to the six-alarm blaze shortly before 11 a.m. Sunday, with more than 200 firefighters dispatched.

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said Monday that smoke spewing out of a door left open in apartment 3N — and not flames — was responsible for the deaths and injuries.

At least 32 people including multiple children were critically injured, with firefighters making dramatic rescues after a fire broke out inside an apartment on E. 181st St. in the Bronx Sunday.
An official investigation into the blaze is ongoing.
© Theodore Parisienne/New York Daily News/TNS via ZUMA Press Wire
Scene of a fatal fire at 333 east 181 street in the Bronx, New York.
Eight of those killed in the building were children.
Tomas E. Gaston
EXCLUSIVE: Hallway where blaze started killing 19 and injuring 30 at  333 E181st St. the Bronx.
Authorities have said the horrific blaze originated with a space heater in unit 3N.

Apartment doors in the building were built to be self-closing, at least partly to contain fires, but this one “malfunctioned,” Nigro said.

Mamadou Wague, the dad of the family in the apartment, told The Post on Monday that he believes he inadvertently pushed the door open too far, leading it to becoming stuck, while rescuing his daughter, who was burned and remained hospitalized.

Fire officials said eight of those killed in the building were children.

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