Candlelight Vigil In The Bronx. Image Credit - FDNY

Deadly Apartment Fire In Bronx Likely Caused By Malfunctioning Space Heater And Open Doors; Salvation Army GNY Assisting Relief Efforts


On Sunday, a tragic five-alarm fire at 333 East 181st Street in the Bronx claimed the lives of 17 people. A candlelight vigil was held the next evening, and was attended by the Salvation Army of Greater New York.


The FDNY was on the scene in three minutes after receiving the call. A door left ajar by the fleeing family in whose apartment the fire started allowed the fire to spread into the hallway and up the stairs, making it much worse that it needed to be. The FDNY continues to stress, in their video below, that the most important thing you can do when fleeing a fire in your home or apartment building is to CLOSE THE DOOR behind you. (In this case, self-closing doors in this apartment building did not close as they should have, according to several Twitter replies to the FDNY’s video).

This will limit the spread of not only the fire, but also the smoke. The smoke makes it harder for the firemen to find people to rescue in a building for several reasons, two of the most important being visibility and consciousness. Most people in a fire situation will panic and forget stop-drop-and-roll, and they can quickly become overcome by smoke. When they are not responsive, they cannot be found as easily as they must then be seen to be found, instead of heard.

The Fire Department determined that the cause of the fire was a malfunctioning space heater on the third floor. Space heaters are safe when used properly, and should always be placed on the floor, away from puddles of water, and especially away from curtains, couches, beds, comforters, and anything else that is flammable. With freezing temperatures gripping the city, it is especially important that people take extra precautions when using space heaters and other appliances to keep warm.


Caption “Our thoughts and prayers are with every victim’s family from the tragic apartment fire in the Bronx this weekend. We’re currently working together with other NYC Donations Coordination Team organizations in order to coordinate donations from community drives. Staff and volunteers from our Bronx Tremont community center will also be at Monroe College tomorrow, distributing vouchers for immediate clothing replacement to help the affected families. If you want to donate towards these relief efforts, visit our link in bio.”

In the wake of Sunday’s tragic apartment building fire in the Bronx, that cost the lives of 17 people, including 8 children, The Salvation Army New York Division has set up the Bronx Fire Relief Fund and is encouraging the community to give to support those families impacted by the fire.

To contribute, anyone can text the word “bronxfire” (one word) to 41444 for a link to make a donation.

The Salvation Army New York Division is working closely with nonprofit and government agencies to identify immediate and long-term needs to continue supporting the families affected.

Candlelight Vigil in the Bronx after the apartment fire. Image Credit - FDNY

Candlelight Vigil in the Bronx after the apartment fire. Image Credit – FDNY

The following is a list of the Salvation Army Greater New York Division’s Fire Relief Efforts:

  • Director of Emergency Services, Zachary Hodgson, currently serves as co-chair of New York City Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NYCVOAD) and is taking a lead in coordinating more than 45 community-based organization and government efforts.
  • Partnering with the Gambian Youth Organization to determine specific cultural needs and the appropriate ways to meet them
  • Lead non-profit organization in New York City Donations Coordination Team (DCT) which includes NYC Emergency Management, NYC Department of Sanitation, Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, working together to coordinate the large number of donations from community drives.
  • Had a presence at the prayer vigil that occurred Tuesday evening January 11
  • The Salvation Army’s Bronx Fire Relief Fund has raised over $20k so far to be used in long-term recovery efforts
  • The Salvation Army’s Bronx Tremont Community Center will staff the intake desk at New York City’s Service Center at Monroe College where we will distribute vouchers for clothing replacement
  • The Salvation Army’s Family Store in the Bronx is an approved destination for displaced residents to receive free transportation through the city’s Curb account to receive clothing with provided vouchers
  • The Salvation Army opened its first location in the Bronx in 1890, with its Tremont location opening in 1893
Candlelight Vigil in the Bronx. Image Credit - FDNY

Candlelight Vigil in the Bronx. Image Credit – FDNY

Banner Image: Candlelight Vigil In The Bronx. Image Credit – FDNY


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