NEW YORK - Sunday's fatal fire in the Bronx that left 17 people dead has prompted Bronx Congressman Ritchie Torres to draft federal legislation aimed at preventing a similar tragedy.
The legislation includes empowering the US Product Safety Commission to set mandatory standards for space heaters including an automatic shut off function
All federally funded housing developments would be required to have self-closing doors and heat sensors throughout the property.
"Keep in mind once the doors were left open the smoke spread thru the stairwell and since the building has no fire escapes and since the stairwells were full of smoke the tenants had no means of escape. It became a deathtrap," Torres said.
Officials say 30 families have returned to the apartment building and that the city is working with landlords to find proper housing for those not wishing to return.
Bronx Fire Coverage
- How you can help the victims of the deadly apartment fire
- Resident captures video of tense evacuation
- Families prepare to lay victims to rest
- Hospitals responded with all hands on deck
- Apartment fire victims identified
- All 17 victims died from smoke inhalation, medical examiner says
- Vigil held for apartment fire victims
- Photos show the horror of the deadly apartment fire
- Safety doors in apartment building failed
- AG warns of charitable scams in wake of deadly inferno
- 17 dead in Bronx apartment fire including 8 children
On Friday afternoon Mayor Eric Adams attended a prayer ceremony at a Bronx mosque where many of those killed attended services.
According to City Hall, The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City has partnered with Bank of America and The Met Council to distribute $2250 immediately to every household in the 118 unit complex.
All 17 of the fire's victims died as a result of smoke inhalation. Officials say two of the victims were buried on Wednesday. The remaining 15 will be laid to rest on Sunday, including 4 members of Hagi Dukaree's family.
"Our faith is the thing that keeps us going, so those prayers that we get from everybody, strangers, perfect strangers, Muslims and non-Muslims from all over the city of New York and the entire universe pretty much I just want to thank everybody. I'm humbled," Dukaree said.