Man who died in NYC apartment fire ID’d as 27-year-old Indian journalist Fazil Khan

The man who died during a fire in a Harlem apartment building on Friday has been identified as a 27-year-old Indian journalist, according to Indian officials.

Fazil Khan died during the blaze on St. Nicholas Place that injured eighteen others and saw FDNY firefighters dramatically rescue residents desperately dangling from a window.

Khan was identified by the Consulate General of India in New York City, who said it has been in touch with his family and friends.

“We continue to extend all possible assistance in repatriation of his mortal remains to India,” the consulate said.

Khan worked as a reporter at CNN-News18 in Delhi before moving to New York in 2020 and graduating from Columbia University’s School of Journalism in 2021, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Fazil Khan, 27, died after a fire ripped through a Harlem apartment building on Friday. Fazil Khan/LinkedIn

He had been employed at Hechinger Report — a nonprofit news organization that reports on inequality education.

“We learned Saturday that The Hechinger Report’s data reporter Fazil Khan died in a fire in the New York City building where he lived,” the outlet said in a statement. “We are devastated by the loss of such a great colleague and wonderful person, and our hearts go out to his family. He will be dearly missed.”

Fire officials confirmed that the deadly blaze was sparked by a lithium ion battery in the six-story building at around 2:15 p.m. and quickly overtook the hallways, blocking residents of higher floors from reaching the stairwell, fire officials said.

The India native had just graduated from Columbia’s School of Journalism. Matthew McDermott
Eighteen people were injured in the blaze. Matthew McDermott

With no way out, three residents scrambled to the window, only to realize there was no fire escape to flee to safety, prompting a dangerous rescue by FDNY with a rope.

Those three people were among five victims who were rushed to the hospital in critical condition, officials said.

One of the five, Khan, was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Four others were hospitalized in stable condition. Eighteen total were treated for injuries, according to the FDNY.

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