Deadly apartment fire in the Bronx kills at least 12

Officials said the blaze was started by a 3.5-year-old boy playing with burners on a stove.
3:19 | 12/30/17

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Transcript for Deadly apartment fire in the Bronx kills at least 12
we begin with the devastating scene of fire and ice in the bronx. At least 12 people killed including children. In the deadliest fire in new York City in more than a quarter century. More than 160 firefighters on the scene within minutes. But for some who lived there, it was already too late. Survivors escape the flames into the freezing night huddling in the street without coats, some even without shoes. The fire speeding up the stairway destroying it from the inside. Officials say it was a 3-year-old boy playing with burners on a stove who started the blaze. He and his mother and sister survived. But so many others did not. ABC's erielle reshef starts us off. Reporter: Tonight, a first look inside the charred hallway of that New York apartment building. The path of destruction after flames raced up these stairs, claiming at least 12 lives. Including four children. Fire travels up, the stairwell acted like a chimney. It took the fire so quickly upstairs that people had very little time to react. Reporter: The walls -- blackened by smoke. Water still dripping from floors above. Fire officials today revealing the deadly blaze ignited in the kitchen of a first floor apartment. It started from a young boy, 3 1/2 years old playing with the burners on the stove. Reporter: His mother coming out of the shower to find smoke. Officials say the fire spread so quickly in part because she left the door open when she fled the apartment with her son and 2-year-old. The call coming in just before 7:00 last night. Fire in a multi-living dwelling, multiple floors. Reporter: More than 160 firefighters rushing to the scene in about three minutes, performing cpr on the injured as they were whisked away. We've got a child trapped, unknown floor. Reporter: As many as 20 people crammed onto frigid fire escapes trying to outrun the fast moving flames. Most people were trapped inside the apartment, because the fire escape was full. There was no room for people to come out. Reporter: Those who managed to get out, facing single-digit temperature. Many with no shoes or coats. Red cross and neighbors rushing to keep victims warm. What do I do? Where do I go from here? Reporter: Tonight, families sharing heartbreaking stories of loss. Jesus, four from one family? Come on, no. Reporter: Four victims, including shawntay young, her aunt and two cousins -- 2 and 7. On the fifth floor. This man says his son, who's in the army, died trying to get people out. I couldn't find him and I panicked and I knew something was wrong. Reporter: MARIA Batiz trapped in a bathroom with her 8-month-old granddaughter, calling her family in those final moments. They couldn't escape. The smoke, I guess overcame her. Everything happened so quick. So devastating to hear. Now from the scene of the fire. Tonight there are still victims that are fighting for their lives? Reporter: Tom, 26 people were injured in this fire. 4 are in critical condition according to officials tonight and we know the district attorney here in the bronx says this was an accident and is not investigating. Tom. Such a horrible tragedy. Thank you.

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

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