Mayor Bill de Blasio describes an apartment fire in New York which killed at least 12 people including a one-year-old child, ‘worst fire tragedy in 25 years’.

“Tonight in the Bronx we’ve seen the worst fire tragedy in at least a quarter of a century.

“It is an unspeakable tragedy, and families have been torn apart,” de Blasio said on Twitter.

The fire started on the first floor of a Bronx apartment block and quickly spread upstairs, according to fire officials.

The victims, who died on various floors, ranged in age from one to 50 years old.

At least 12 others were rescued from the building.

Resident Diana Hayes told the New York Times she had escaped with her daughter and pulled a neighbour’s two children from the fire, but that she had to leave other children behind.

“I had one on my front and one on my back. “I couldn’t carry the rest of them,” Reyes told the Times.

The building was built from plaster and brick and was not fireproof, the Times reported.

It was constructed in 1916 and had more than 20 units, according to property records cited by the newspaper.

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