NEW YORK, NY – NYC Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. (D-36), Chair of the Council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings, released the following statement in response to news of a fatal fire at the Frederick E. Samuel Houses in Harlem this morning:

“Early this morning, six New Yorkers were lost in a tragic fire, including four children. While we at the Council have taken aggressive steps to curb fire fatalities in this city, tragedies like these remind us that unforeseen events can still occur. As a father of six, I cannot imagine the pain of losing any of my children. To that end, I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to the family for their unimaginable loss, and promise to continue to do everything in my power to ensure incidences like these are prevented moving forward.

“I would like to extend my sincerest thanks and appreciation to the 100-plus firefighters who responded to this incident to prevent further tragedy. As FDNY continues its investigation into this morning’s fire, there remains a question about smoke detectors in the unit where the fire started. My office will remain in touch with the appropriate agencies to further understand whether or not smoke detectors were present in accordance with city code, and take appropriate action as we do more.”