6 People, Including 4 Children, Killed in Harlem Apartment Fire

WPIX - May 08, 2019

by ANTHONY DILORENZO AND KRISTINE GARCIA

HARLEM, Manhattan — Six people, including four children, are dead after a fire tore through a NYCHA apartment in Harlem early Wednesday.

Fire officials received a call about the blaze, which started on the fifth floor of the Frederick E. Samuel Apartments on the corner of Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and West 142nd Street shortly after 1:30 a.m. , fire officials said.

Firefighters responded to the fire and were met at the door with flames—the apartment "fully involved," fire officials said.

Images show the fire on the fifth floor of the apartment, with flames coming out the windows of the corner unit.

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the victims were members of the same family.

Andrea Pollidore, 45, her four children — two girls, ages 11 and 6, and two boys, ages 8 and 3, and a 33-year-old man believed to be the woman's stepson, were pronounced dead at the scene.

The cause of the fire appears to have been caused by a burner on a stove that was left turned on, an FDNY source said.

Geraldo Morales, a resident at the apartment, told PIX11 he carried his dog out as his mother, who has bad health, was holding onto his back as they got out the apartment through the fire escape.

"We're blessed. That could've been us," another resident said.

Fire officials said there is no indication that the fire, which is believed to have started in the kitchen, was suspicious.

Video from AIR11 shows windows from the top three floors smashed through and debris on the sidewalk.

The blaze is one of the deadliest New York City fires since 2017.

PIX11 reached out to NYCHA for comment.