Mayor: Toddler burning deaths ‘extraordinary’ accident

Mayor Bill de Blasio Thursday called the deaths of two young sisters in Hunts Point a freak accident, and city lawmakers are already pushing new legislation to prevent future tragedies.

Preliminary reports blame the accident on a malfunctioning radiator valve. 

As News 12 previously reported, Scylee Vayoh Ambrose and Ibanez Ambrose, 1 and 2 years old, died after escaping steam burned them on their faces and bodies.

The mayor said New Yorkers do not need to be alarmed by their radiators. He said the children's deaths were "an extraordinary and unprecedented accident" and that officials could not find similar issues with any other apartments in the building at 720 Hunts Point Ave.

City Councilman Rafael Salamanca Jr. submitted three pieces of legislation Thursday morning aimed at increasing radiator safety and preventing "bad" landlords from providing housing through the city Department of Homeless Services. As News 12 has reported, several units in the Hunts Point building were used as shelters by the city agency.

"If a landlord is on the 100 worst landlords list, he should not be able to house and shelter families in his building," Salamanca said.

Records show that 720 Hunts Point Ave. is owned by Moshe Piller. He was not ranked on the worst landlords list this year, but has been ranked at the top in previous years.

There are currently multiple open complaints against the landlord, but Mayor de Blasio said that there is no known correlation between the building's conditions and the accident. The investigation is ongoing.

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