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Family tells harrowing tale of escape from deadly Bronx tower fire

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Survival came with a harrowing leap of faith for six teenagers who lived next door to the apartment where one of the deadliest blazes in New York City history broke out.

The family recounted to The Post their dramatic escape from their third-floor apartment at 333 E. 181st St. in The Bronx as smoke from a space heater fire flooded the building and ultimately killed 17 people, including eight children.

“The walls were bubbling, smoke and water started coming in, and so my son broke out the window and everybody got out of there,” said an emotional Nikki Campbell, 45, the mother of six, including the five teens ages 14-19.

“The worst part was watching my children screaming in the window, and I’m on the sidewalk and I can’t help them.”

Campbell was at work at the Parks Department when she got the desperate call from her trapped children about the fire down the hall.

The teens also phoned their oldest brother, 28-year-old Marqui, who was running errands. He rushed to the scene — and saved his family.

Campbell described how Marqui encouraged two of his siblings to climb out a window on the lower level of their duplex apartment — which spanned the second and third floors — and then cling to the lower ledge.

The next step — let go and hopefully land in his open arms.

Nikki Campbell watched in vain as her six teenagers tried to escape the five-alarm Bronx fire next door at 333 E. 181st Street.
Nikki Campbell was working when her children were caught in the Bronx fire.
Brigette Stelzer
Marqui Campbell, 28, caught his siblings and their friends as they jumped out of the burning Bronx building at 333 East 181st Street on Sunday.
Marqui Campbell stood on garbage bags while convincing his siblings to jump out of their apartment’s window to escape the fire.
Courtesy of Nikki Campbell

“My son stood at the bottom and the other kids jumped down and he caught them,” Campbell recounted.

“Marqui stood on some garbage bags and a mattress that were on the ground under my window,” she recounted, estimating the kids were 10 feet up before they jumped. “There’s an area under my window where they store garbage overnight — Marqui stood on top of it.”

Noel, 16, and Judge, 14, jumped into their big brother’s arms. It was Judge’s birthday party sleepover on Saturday night, so four of his friends who had stayed over were also rescued by Marqui’s steady arms.

Marqui Campbell, 28, caught his siblings and their friends as they jumped out of the burning Bronx building at 333 East 181st Street on Sunday.
Marqui Campbell encouraged his siblings and their friends friends to jump down 10 feet so he could catch them from the apartment window, according to his mother Nikki.
Courtesy of Nikki Campbell

Soon after, firefighters arrived with their ladder and rescued Campbells remaining trapped kids — Jamari, 19, Kanji, 17, and Taliya, 18.

The dramatic tale of survival came as Mayor Eric Adams revealed that big-hearted New Yorkers have donated more than $700,000 to a relief fund set up by his office to help the victims of the tragedy.

He also said city officials would “dig in” on rampant complaints about the self-closing doors not functioning properly in the tower — a failure that Fire Commissioner Dan Nigro said allowed deadly smoke to quickly fill the 19-story building.

View of the devastated building and apartments where deadly fire caused by malfunctioned space heater claimed 17 lives including 8 children in the Bronx.
The Bronx apartment building at 333 E. 181st Street previously received numerous maintenance complaints before the deadly blaze.
Lev Radin/Pacific Press/Shutterstock

The Post revealed Thursday that the city’s Housing Authority had documented squalid conditions at in several apartments in the building, affirming widespread complaints of neglect and mismanagement from tenants in the aftermath of Sunday’s blaze.

“There’s a lot landlords must learn. We are going to dig into and do those inspections and hotlines if the door’s not closing automatically,” Hizzoner told reporters at an unrelated press conference in Queens.

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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