The fire swept through a fifth-floor apartment at a housing authority building. The youngest victim was 3 years old, the police said. James Barron and Nate Schweber of The New York Times report.

The smoke awakened the neighbours first — not the sight of thick, gray-black clouds outside Apartment 5G, but the smell. Then there were the sounds in the quiet of the night: a noise like an explosion and the crackling of glass as windows flew out, and the voices of children — screaming.

A fire that officials said apparently began on the kitchen stove was racing through the

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