New York, NY January 10, 2022 — Committee for Hispanic Children & Families (CHCF) joins the rest of the city in mourning the lives lost yesterday during the horrific fire at 333 East 181 Street in the Bronx.
Coming out of one of the most difficult years of our lives, we cannot imagine starting a new year with this horrific loss of life.
Our hearts and prayers are with the over 60 individuals that are currently in the hospital — many of whom are fighting for their lives — as well as the families of the 19 individuals that perished.
We are asking the new administration to thoroughly review the conditions of this apartment complex to determine whether anything could have been done to mitigate the use of the electric space heater that is rumored to have malfunctioned and caused this fire.
Additionally, we ask that inspections of all high-rise apartment complexes and rent-stabilized buildings be accelerated to ensure compliance with all building codes.
Now, as New York City is in the middle of the coldest weather of this season, it is incumbent upon the local administration to shore up inspections of apartment buildings to ensure that appropriate heating is provided. Landlords who abuse marginalized and historically disenfranchised families must be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
We further request that all high-rise complexes that are not required to have fire escapes be retrofitted with fire retardant and smoke preventing emergency hall doors that automatically close, so we can mitigate the spread of fires and smoke to other areas moving forward.
If one life could be saved, the administration owes it to us all to do everything in their power.