Two toddlers were burned to death in a Bronx fire that ravaged their third-floor apartment while their mother was folding clothes at a laundromat across the street. Officials believe the fire was started by incense that the mother left burning when she left the house. A neighbor said the mother, 26, heard the fire trucks and started running back home, screaming and in tears. “My babies, my babies,” she yelled. The mother buckled to her knees as she watched firefighters rush from the building cradling her daughters, 18 months and 2 years. The girls later died at a nearby hospital.
The New York Times gave readers a somewhat longer version of the report above last April. A reporter was sent to the scene. An editor was moved into place. And the Metro pages of the newspaper were torn up to make room for a late-breaking story.
The question is, was that the right call? Should resources have been directed to one small fire by a paper trying to cover a city of eight million?