A deadly fire in New York City has killed eight children and one adult in an extended family of immigrants from the West African country of Mali.

Several other people were injured in the blaze and taken to a hospital for treatment.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says that apart from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the fire was the city's deadliest in 17 years. He says the death toll could rise because some of the injuries people suffered are serious. The mayor also said the victim's home had smoke detectors, but that they did not have working batteries in them.

Authorities say the fire spread quickly through the three-story house in the Bronx Wednesday night. Four families shared the house.

Witnesses told of a woman tossing children through broken windows to people waiting to catch them below.

Fire investigators are trying to determine the cause of the blaze. They say the fire burned from the home's basement and first floor.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.