Family, Friends Will 'Never Forget' Harlem Fire Victims

AMNY - May 10, 2019

by Nicole Brown and Alison Fox

The fire that killed a family of six was sparked by an unattended stove, the FDNY said.

Mourners were still in "utter shock" Thursday at the Harlem fire that killed a mom, four of her children and her stepson early Wednesday.

Fundraising efforts are being made to finance funerals for Andrea Pollidore, 45, her 33-year-old stepson Mac Abdularaph, and four of her children — Nakyra Pollidore, 11, Andre Pollidore, 8, Brook-Lynn Pollidore, 6, and Elijah Pollidore, 3 — who all died when a blaze tore through their fifth-floor apartment in the Frederick Samuel Houses on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and West 142nd Street shortly after 1:30 a.m.

Sharing images of the charred apartment on Twitter, the FDNY said the blaze was accidental and started on a stove, which had been left unattended while something was cooking. It spread to all six rooms of the apartment, trapping the family in two bedrooms, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

A smoke alarm was installed in the apartment in June 2017 and tested in January, according to NYCHA officials, but investigators did not find it in the apartment Wednesday, the FDNY said.

The battery-powered device may have been removed or disabled before the fire started. Relatives of Andrea Pollidore told investigators she had a habit of disconnecting smoke detectors while cooking, according to reports.

Family and friends of the Pollidores held a vigil Thursday outside PS 194, a few blocks from the apartment where the children went to school.

Dozens of pink, blue and white balloons were tied to a railing around the school.