NEW YORK -- A fire in a six-story apartment building killed one person and injured 31 others early yesterday, and the mayor said firefighters were delayed because a caller who reported the fire gave the wrong address.
Six people were in critical condition, three of them children. Six firefighters and five police officers were among the injured.
A candle appeared to have been the cause of the fire, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
The blaze began in a second-floor apartment and soon spread to the second and third floors of the building in the Jackson Heights section of Queens.
The mayor said someone called 911 and gave the wrong address of the building.
"The firefighters went to the wrong place and it took them a couple of extra minutes, one extra minute or whatever the time was, to get to the right place," Bloomberg said at a news conference.
The fire spread quickly because the door of the burning apartment was left open, he said.
"I don't know what would have happened had they gotten the right address," added Bloomberg. "I don't know what would have happened had the door been closed. But all these things go toward keeping something from getting a lot more serious."
Some tenants used the fire escape to get outdoors; the temperature was in the low 20s.
The tenant who died was identified by police as Flora Penada, 36. Three children were listed in critical condition at New York Weill-Cornell Burn Center, as were three adults in the burn unit at Jacobi Medical Center, officials said.