Girl, 2, identified as one of four children killed in Bronx blaze

A 2-year-old girl is among the dozen dead in a massive Bronx fire that officials said Friday a gas leak may have helped spread.

Four children — all under the age of 7 — were among the dead in the Thursday night blaze on Prospect Ave. near E. 187th St. in Belmont. A 1-year-old infant girl was found dead huddled in a bathtub in the arms of a woman.

The blaze was the worst fire tragedy the city has seen in a quarter-century, Mayor de Blasio said.

"We've lost 12 people, we could lose more. There are some still fighting for their lives,” the Mayor said on CNN’s “New Day” Friday. “It's a horrible tragedy, in the middle of the holidays, when people are trying to be with their families and finally have a moment of peace. To have something like this happen to folks in the Bronx is just horrible.”

FDNY fire marshals were continuing their investigation into the cause of the fire Friday morning.

RELATED: Massive Bronx apartment building fire kills 12

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12 dead after massive blaze burns Bronx apartment building
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12 dead after massive blaze burns Bronx apartment building
Fire Department of New York (FDNY) personnel work on the scene of an apartment fire in Bronx, New York, U.S., December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
People react near the scene of an apartment fire in Bronx, New York, U.S., December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Fire Department of New York (FDNY) personnel work on the scene of an apartment fire in Bronx, New York, U.S., December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
New York Police Department (NYPD) officers and Fire Department of New York (FDNY) personnel work on the scene of an apartment fire in Bronx, New York, U.S., December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
People react near the scene of an apartment fire in Bronx, New York, U.S., December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
New York Police Department (NYPD) officers and Fire Department of New York (FDNY) personnel work on the scene of an apartment fire in Bronx, New York, U.S., December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Fire Department of New York (FDNY) personnel work on the scene of an apartment fire in Bronx, New York, U.S. December 28, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Fire Department of New York (FDNY) personnel work on the scene of an apartment fire in Bronx, New York, U.S., December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
New York Police Department (NYPD) officers and Fire Department of New York (FDNY) personnel work on the scene of an apartment fire in Bronx, New York, U.S., December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Fire Department of New York (FDNY) personnel work on the scene of an apartment fire in Bronx, New York, U.S. December 28, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Evacuees wear blankets as they stand after a fire at an apartment building in Bronx, New York, U.S., December 28, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky
New York Police Department (NYPD) officers stand guard during an evacuation following a fire at an apartment building in Bronx, New York, U.S., December 28, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky
Fire Department of New York (FDNY) personnel work on the scene of an apartment fire in Bronx, New York, U.S. December 28, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky
Fire Department of New York (FDNY) personnel work on the scene of an apartment fire in Bronx, New York, U.S. December 28, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky
New York Police Department (NYPD) officers stand guard during an evacuation following a fire at an apartment building in Bronx, New York, U.S. December 28, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky
Fire Department of New York (FDNY) personnel work on the scene of an apartment fire in Bronx, New York, U.S., December 28, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky
New York Police Department (NYPD) officers stand guard during an evacuation following a fire at an apartment building in Bronx, New York, U.S. December 28, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky
Fire Department of New York (FDNY) personnel work on the scene of an apartment fire in Bronx, New York, U.S. December 28, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky
Fire Department of New York (FDNY) personnel work on the scene of an apartment fire in Bronx, New York, U.S. December 28, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky
New York Police Department (NYPD) officers stand guard during an evacuation following a fire at an apartment building in Bronx, New York, U.S., December 28, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky
Fire Department of New York (FDNY) personnel work on the scene of an apartment fire in Bronx, New York, U.S., December 28, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky
Fire Department of New York (FDNY) personnel work on the scene of an apartment fire in Bronx, New York, U.S., December 28, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky
New York Police Department (NYPD) officers stand guard during an evacuation following a fire at an apartment building in Bronx, New York, U.S., December 28, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky
Fire Department of New York (FDNY) personnel work on the scene of an apartment fire in Bronx, New York, U.S., December 28, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky
Fire Department of New York (FDNY) personnel work on the scene of an apartment fire in Bronx, New York, U.S., December 28, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky
The outside of an apartment where a fire took place is seen in the Bronx borough of New York City on December 29, 2017. Officials said Friday that the death toll from the fire has reached 12, including four children. / AFP PHOTO / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
A New York Police Department officer works on the scene of an apartment fire on December 29, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Officials said Friday that the death toll from the fire has reached 12, including four children. / AFP PHOTO / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman walks outside of an apartment where a fire took place in the Bronx borough of New York City on December 29, 2017. Officials said Friday that the death toll from the fire has reached 12, including four children. / AFP PHOTO / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
Fire Department of New York personnel work on the scene of an apartment fire on December 29, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Officials said Friday that the death toll from the fire has reached 12, including four children. / AFP PHOTO / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
New York Police Department officers work on the scene of an apartment fire on December 29, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Officials said Friday that the death toll from the fire has reached 12, including four children. / AFP PHOTO / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
A Santa Claus figure is seen on the door of a fire truck as a New York Police Department (NYPD) officer works on the scene of an apartment fire on December 29, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Officials said Friday that the death toll from the fire has reached 12, including four children. / AFP PHOTO / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
A NYPD officer walks on the scene of an apartment fire in the Bronx borough of New York City on December 29, 2017. Officials said Friday that the death toll from the fire has reached 12, including four children. / AFP PHOTO / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
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Authorities are trying to determine if a natural gas line outside the building fueled the quick-moving blaze.

The gas to the building had to be shut down in May because of a leak, according to the city Department of Buildings.

The property owner was given a permit in August to re-pipe the building’s gas distribution system, records show.

De Blasio said the building’s management company is responsible for making sure all safety precautions are in place — but warned against any speculation until the Fire Marshals complete their investigation.

“They have the best fire department in the world, they are very expert at investigating to figure out what the cause of a fire is,” de Blasio said. “We need to give them a little time to work through this."

The fire spread from the first floor to additional landings in the five-story building in a seconds, officials said.

As firefighters fought back the blaze, they found a 1-year-old baby girl dead next to a 63-year-old woman. Three unidentified men were also found dead in the building, officials said.

The 2-year-old girl pulled from the building died at St. Barnabas Hospital, along with a 7-year-old girl, a 19-year-old woman, a 37-year-old woman and an unidentified woman, officials said.

An unidentified man and child taken out of the fire died at Jacobi Medical Center, authorities said.

None of the names of the victims authorities have identified were immediately released.

Mothers and their children could be seen frantically scrambling down building fire escapes after the fire broke out about 7 p.m. Thursday.

Many of the victims had just shorts and shirts on as they raced outside, bracing themselves against the frigid 12-degree temperatures.

The century-old building was just given a permit for a rehabilitation project, according to city records.

There were also reports that the first floor had no working smoke detectors as recently as a month ago.

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