Pope Francis Prays for Victims of New York City’s Deadliest Fire in Decades

The fire claimed the lives of 19 people including nine children.

Emergency first responders remain at the scene after an intense fire at a 19-story residential building that erupted in the morning on January 9, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Reports indicate over 50 people were injured.
Emergency first responders remain at the scene after an intense fire at a 19-story residential building that erupted in the morning on January 9, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Reports indicate over 50 people were injured. (photo: Scott Heins / Getty)

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is praying for the victims of New York City’s deadliest fire in decades, the Vatican said on Monday.

A Jan. 10 telegram to Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York said that the Pope offered his “heartfelt condolences” to the families of the 19 people, including nine children, killed in an apartment fire in the Bronx on Sunday.

“His Holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the recent devastating fire in the Bronx in which a number of children lost their lives,” said the message sent on the pope’s behalf by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin. 

“In offering heartfelt condolences and the assurance of his spiritual closeness to those affected by this tragedy, he entrusts the victims and their families to the merciful love of Almighty God and invokes upon all consolation and strength in the Lord.”

The blaze, believed to have been caused by a space heater in a duplex apartment, started shortly before 11 a.m. on Dec. 9 at a 120-unit, 19-storey building known as Twin Parks on East 181st Street.

Mayor Eric Adams said: “This is going to be one of the worst fires that we have witnessed during modern times.”

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