NEW YORK — It has been three months since.
And for the primary time in 25 years, Congress held a listening to within the Bronx. The objective was to debate the right way to stop most of these fires in backed housing from occurring once more.
CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge spoke to one of many survivors on Wednesday.
“I am grateful that I made it out alive, however I am unhappy for individuals who didn’t,” Sandra Clayton mentioned.
Clayton, a resident at Twin Parks Northwest, shared her story at a hearth security listening to at Bronx Neighborhood Faculty with members of Congress. She recalled that day, Jan. 9,. Officers mentioned 46 others had been hospitalized.
“Throughout the hearth, I misplaced my canine. I used to be making an attempt to avoid wasting myself,” Clayton mentioned.
Officers decided the reason for the blaze was a malfunctioning electrical area heater.
“A system generally utilized by many households because of inadequate heating of their constructing, which information present was a relentless criticism that went unaddressed,” Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson mentioned.
“The incident at Twin Parks Northwest was tragic. The incident was additionally preventable,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver added.
On Wednesday afternoon, politicians, housing and hearth officers mentioned what they’ll do to enhance the security of New Yorkers dwelling in government-funded housing.
“Tenants had been dwelling in harmful circumstances for years,” Clayton mentioned. “The constructing’s alarm system was malfunctioning, as it might go off at evening. When the hearth alarm went off in January, I assumed it was nothing as a result of I used to be so used to the alarm going off.”
Authorities mentioned all 17 victims died of smoke inhalation, including the smoke was in a position to unfold as a result of doorways had been left open.
“If Twins Park Northwest had correctly functioning self-closing door, the smoke would have been contained and numerous lives would’ve been saved,” Rep. Ritchie Torres mentioned.
Torres, who represents the Bronx, put ahead laws that will require federally funded buildings to have self-closing doorways and require area heaters to be manufactured to close off robotically.
Advocates are additionally pressuring the federal authorities to extend and enhance inspections.
Within the fast aftermath of the hearth, Mayor Eric Adams signed Government Order 12, which requires larger data sharing on inspections between companies.
“This strengthened coordination will enhance the way in which the hearth division does inspections,” FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh mentioned.
As for Clayton, she is in a brand new house now.
“I really feel safer now, My house has a sprinkler system. However I’m frightened. I sleep with my doorways unlocked, simply in case I must run out of the house,” Clayton mentioned.
Advocates hope new security laws will likely be handed this session.