A fire tore through an apartment building on the Upper East Side early Tuesday, injuring 26 people, including a 1-week-old baby and four firefighters, officials and reports said.
The fire erupted in a kitchen on the 24th floor of the 41-story building at 515 E. 72nd St. just before 2 a.m., officials said.
The residents of the apartment tried to flee but passed out, leaving the front door open and allowing the flames and thick smoke to spread throughout the building.
“The door open is what changes this fire completely,” Fire Chief Joseph Ferrante told reporters at the scene. “It turned a one-room kitchen fire into a fire that spread throughout the upper floors of the building.”
He added: “We had numerous phone calls from apartments above, complaining about smoke, people trapped, all due to the fact that that door was left open.”
Of the 22 civilians who were injured, 18 were taken to area hospitals. Two were in critical condition.
Two of the adult residents who tried to escape suffered life-threatening injuries, according to officials.
The fire was brought under control by 3:24 a.m., officials said.
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