Bronx fire: Death toll from devastating blaze downgraded by two to 17

The death toll from a devastating blaze that ripped through an apartment complex in the Bronx borough of New York City has been downgraded to 17 – two fewer than previously thought.

Mayor Eric Adams announced the updated death toll at a press conference on Monday.

The fire – said to be the deadliest witnessed in the city in 30 years – broke out just before 11am local time on Sunday, according to the New York City Fire Department (FDNY).

It is believed to have started by a malfunctioning space heater in the bedroom of a duplex on the second and third floors of the 19-storey building. While the flames were contained to that unit, the door was left open when the occupants fled, allowing smoke to billow out into the hallway and throughout other parts of the building.

In the hours after the fire, city officials said it had left 63 people injured from “severe smoke inhalation”, including 32 who were sent to hospitals with life-threatening injuries. Officials said the dead included nine children, but it is unclear if that number went down with Monday’s updated death toll.

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