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A list of some of the deadliest fires in New York City

January 10, 2022 Associated Press
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An apartment high-rise fire in New York City that killed 17 people and injured dozens of others on Sunday was one of the deadlier building blazes in the city’s history.

Some lists of the city’s most deadly fires include the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center. Two commercial airline flights crashed in the towers, leading to fires and collapses of both buildings that killed about 2,750 people.

Before 9/11, the deadliest fire in the city’s history was aboard the General Slocum excursion boat in the East River in 1904, when 1,021 passengers died.

Here is a look at some of the worst building fires in New York City:

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

— BROOKLYN THEATRE: The blaze swept through a Brooklyn theater on Dec. 5, 1876, near the end of a performance of “The Two Orphans,” killing at least 278 people. Media reports said a gas lantern ignited some scenery, and many of the victims were trampled trying to get out of the building, which had no fire exits.

— TRIANGLE SHIRTWAIST FACTORY: The fire on March 25, 1911, at the Manhattan factory killed 146 workers, leading to workplace safety improvements and spurring the organized labor movement. There was only one fire escape in the building. Some doors were locked as managers sought to prevent theft, according to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

— HAPPY LAND: An arsonist set fire to the illegally operated social club in the Bronx on March 25, 1990, killing 87 people, most of whom were immigrants. The arsonist, Cuban refugee Julio Gonzalez, got into an argument with his former live-in girlfriend and was thrown out of the club, but he returned with gasoline, set the fire and pulled down the metal front gate.

— WINDSOR HOTEL: The fire at the seven-story hotel in Manhattan happened during the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1899, blamed on someone throwing a lit match out of a window. The Evening Telegraph reported authorities recovered 45 bodies and another 41 people were missing, according to a 2014 New York Times story.

— KNICKERBOCKER ICE COMPANY: A fire at the abandoned factory just north of the George Washington Bridge killed 37 people when a wall of the building collapsed and fell onto an apartment building, according to Yeshiva University, which is near the fire site.

— 1845 FIRE: The Great New York City Fire of 1845 destroyed dozens of buildings in lower Manhattan, caused explosions and killed 30 people, according to historical accounts.

— MANHATTAN STATE HOSPITAL: The fire at the hospital on Ward’s Island on Feb. 18, 1923, killed 27 people, three years after officials had said the building was at high risk for a catastrophic fire, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

— PUERTO RICAN SOCIAL CLUB: The blaze at the Bronx club in October 1976 killed 25 people and injured two dozen others. Authorities said it was intentionally set.

— MONARCH UNDERWEAR COMPANY: Authorities said 24 workers died in the March 19, 1958, fire at the Manhattan business.

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