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Following fatal Bronx fire: Lawmakers demand new heat regulations to Stopping the next calamity

Emergency personnel work at the scene of a fatal fire at an apartment building in the Bronx on Sunday, January 9.
AP / Yuki Iwamura

Emergency personnel work at the scene of a fatal fire at an apartment building in the Bronx on Sunday, January 9.
AP / Yuki Iwamura

Top New York politicians wanted Monday that Congress foist new rules on privately-run housing complexes that receive federal subsidies in the after-effects of the dreadful Bronx housing tower fire that left 17 people dead — as well as eight children.

The new rule would demand landlords to install temperature monitors in buildings where tenants receive housing vouchers to guarantee that apartments are receiving the essential amounts of heat.

Nikki Campbell watched as her kids tried to escape the five-alarm Bronx fire.
Brigette Stelzer

FDNY officials are of the opinion that the primary cause of the fatally fire was a space heater in a third-floor apartment at the high-rise at 333 East 181 Street — and some crashing self-closing doors allowed the life-threatening smoke to speedily fill the building.

The Bronx apartment building at 333 E. 181st Street previously received numerous maintenance complaints before the deadly blaze.
Lev Radin/Pacific Press/Shutterstock

“We have to ask ourselves what was the deeper cost. Why were tenants using fire heaters in the first place. And the answer has to do with the chronic lack of heat and hot water,” said Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-The Bronx). “Space heaters are often a cry for help and a cry for heat, often an act of desperation for decent and dignified housing.”

Mayor Eric Adams joined other lawmakers at the scene of the deadly Bronx fire.
Lev Radin/Sipa USA

US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand spoke in support of new heat regulations in New York.
Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA

Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-The Bronx) said space heaters “often are a cry for help.”
Lev Radin/Sipa USA

Torres was joined by Mayor Eric Adams, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) and many other state and federal lawmakers at the press conference, which happened in the shadow of the ruined apartment tower.

Nikki Campbell was working when her children were caught in the Bronx fire.
Brigette Stelzer

“We must harness the power of technology Ike heat censors to hold landlords accountable for delivering sufficient heat and hot water because the residents of the Bronx deserve nothing less than safe, decent affordable housing,” said Gillibrand.

Added Adams: “This is an excellent initiative that is not only useful here in New York but it can be imported throughout the country.”

Emergency personnel work at the scene of a fatal fire at an apartment building in the Bronx on Sunday, January 9.
AP / Yuki Iwamura

THE BRONX,        1/17/22

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