The apartment fire that killed 17 people in the Bronx on Sunday illustrates the urgent energy and environmental justice imperatives for improving building efficiency. Reports indicate the fire was started by a space heater, even though the building’s heat was working. Internal stairwells choked with smoke and other factors prevented residents from escaping the smoke-filled building. Public housing residents are forced to use space heaters and even their gas stoves to heat their living spaces, raising fire risks, indoor air pollution, and increased climate pollution. “To hear from initial reports that a faulty space heater is the cause of such a large fire is horrifying and unacceptable,” Taylor Morton of WE ACT on Environmental Justice told Earther. “New Yorkers deserve adequate and efficient heat in the wintertime, and this event proves that outdated infrastructure can not only impact our quality of life, but can be deadly.” (Earther)