NY Post - May 09, 2019
A Harlem apartment inferno that claimed six lives — including four kids ages 3 to 11 — was likely started by a stove that was left on, officials said Wednesday.
“Preliminarily, we believe the fire was an accident and that it started in the kitchen on the stove, quickly spread, and eventually involved every room in this apartment — including the two rooms where the victims were found,” FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said at a press conference at the scene Wednesday.
The fire broke out on the fifth floor of the Fred Samuels Houses on Seventh Avenue near 142nd Street in Harlem around 1:40 a.m., Nigro said.
Police sources identified the victims as Andrea Pollidore, 45, and her kids, Elijah, 3, Brooklyn, 6, Andre, 8, and Nakiyra, 11 — as well as 33-year-old Mac Abdularaulph, whose relationship to the family was not immediately clear.
They were found dead in two bedrooms.
“They were unable to get to either the door of their apartment or the windows on the fire escape,” Nigro said. “We take this very personally when we were unable to save this family.”
The NYCHA apartment’s battery-powered smoke detectors were tested and confirmed working in January, Nigro said.
“We need to keep the Pollidore family in our prayers and our thoughts,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “All of us as New Yorkers are feeling this tragedy.”