"Close the door, close the door, close the door", Nigro said.
No self-closing door violations were issued during an inspection in August, though the city would not have examined every apartment, Creegan said. He says the city cited landlords over 7,752 times in the a year ago for violations of the self-closing-door requirement.
Police and fire authorities are investigating whether fire preventive equipment, such as alarms and fire-retardant doors, were in working order.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro called the fire, "historic in its magnitude", because of the number of lives lost.
D&E Equities said through spokesman Ronn Torossian that it is communicating with the city about the Thursday fire in the Bronx.
Some families in the apartment building are part of the parish so he rushed to the location "as soon as I could get there", he said.
City Department of Buildings records show the building is a walk-up apartment house.
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It was the city's deadliest fire in decades, excluding the September 11 terror attacks.
Fernando Batiz said his 56-year-old sister, Maria Batiz, and her 8-month-old granddaughter also died, though the baby's mother survived. "They were burned, even little kids on the stretchers, burned", a resident of the building told ABC station WABC in New York City. Stewart moved to the United States from Jamaica in the 1980s.
CNN reports that the fire was started when a 3-year-old boy was playing with burners on a kitchen stove.
The officials said the mother fled the burning apartment with the boy, leaving the apartment door open.
Twum Bredu (BREH'-doo) said Friday he hasn't yet gotten news of his 28-year-old brother, Emmanuel Mensah.
But no one could find Mensah. Stewart-Francis' husband, Holt Francis, was hospitalized, the family said. One family is still looking for a missing son, according to WABC.
"That's his nature", said 62-year-old Kwabena Mensah. That allowed the blaze to spread quickly. Emmanuel died trying to rescue other people in the building.
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Nigro stresses the importance of closing doors to help contain fires.
"It's the time of year where people celebrate and certainly here, we have people who have lost their lives, lost their homes, lost everything, and we grieve with them". Among the dead were four children - three girls ages 1, 2 and 7 and a young boy whose age has yet to be released. His age was not given.
At least 20 people scrambled out via fire escapes on a bitterly cold night, but others could not.
The New York Times said the blaze is the "city's deadliest in more than a quarter-century".
New York City's mayor says 12 people have been killed in a Bronx apartment building fire including a child around a year old.
The blaze broke out Thursday night on the first floor of a five-story building.
Mayor Bill de Blasio says the dead include a child around a year old, while four more people are fighting for their lives.
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