On 9 January, smoke from a fire that started with a malfunctioning portable electric heater killed 17 people, including eight children, in a high-rise apartment building in New York City’s Bronx borough.
Days earlier, a fire inside a Philadelphia rowhouse operated by the city’s housing authority killed 12 people, including eight children.
The fires – among the deadliest in modern US history – have underscored neglect in the country’s low-income housing units, typically magnified only in the wake of tragedies.
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