12 dead in massive New York City apartment fire

Four children were among those killed in the fast-moving fire that swept through an apartment complex in the Bronx.
2:35 | 12/29/17

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Transcript for 12 dead in massive New York City apartment fire
We move to that deadly four-alarm fire claiming at least 12 lives in New York including a 1-year-old child. You're looking live at the scene. This was the worst fire the city has seen in 25 years, more than 170 firefighters responding to the blaze in the bronx and ABC's Eva pilgrim is at the scene with the latest on the investigation. Good morning to you, Eva. Reporter: Good morning, Paula. Those fire victims forced out into this bitter cold weather. Many of them without coats, without shoes, firefighters fighting this fire this morning. They are going through the building now doing their search and recovery process. Those firefighters got here in three minutes. But for many inside that was not fast enough. 170 firefighters rushing to battle the deadliest fire in new York City in more than 25 years. We have a scene here in which 12 people have died and four are fighting for their lives. Reporter: Cpr performed as victim after victim removed on gurneys. Based on the information we have now, this will rank as one of the worst losses of life to a fire in many, many years. Reporter: The blaze began at 6:30 P.M. When thick, black smoke swept through the five-story buildingment inside these apartments an apocalyptic scene. Parents screaming for help. Children crying. So many unable to get out. This is the worst fire tragedy we have seen in this city in at least a quarter century. Reporter: The only thing not destroyed, the building's exterior. At least three dead from the same family. Burned. Burned. Even little kids on the stretchers burned. It was crazy. Reporter: In one apartment a mother found in a bathtub clutching her baby. Both deceased. Through the window. You came out through the window. Yeah, there was smoke everywhere already. Reporter: This resident managed to reach the fire escape leaving his phone and wallet able to grab a blanket. He was better off than many here who were forced to flee their homes with no coat organization shoes and the red cross rushing to provide warmth to the stunned survivors. No word this morning on the cause of this fire. One of the things investigators will be looking at is why this fire grew so quickly. They are looking now at the possibility that the fire burned into a natural gas line fueling these flames. Dan. A lot of questions, just a horrifying story, Eva. Thank you very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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