Outpouring of grief as victims of Bronx fire laid to rest

1/16/2022 5:29:00 PM

A Bronx community gathers Sunday to pay its final respects to perished loved ones, a week after a fire filled an apartment building with thick, suffocating smoke that killed 17 people, including eight children.

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A Bronx community gathers Sunday to pay its final respects to perished loved ones, a week after a fire filled an apartment building with thick, suffocating smoke that killed 17 people, including eight children.

A Bronx community gathered Sunday to pay its final respects to perished loved ones, a week after a fire filled a high-rise apartment building with thick, suffocating smoke that killed 17 people, including eight children. Hundreds filled the mosque and hundreds more huddled in the cold outside to pay their respects.

January 16, 2022, 8:45 AMNEW YORK (AP) — A Bronx community gathered Sunday to pay its final respects to perished loved ones, a week after a fire filled a high-rise apartment building with thick, suffocating smoke that killed 17 people, including eight children.

“This is a sad situation. But everything comes from God. Tragedies always happen, we just thank Allah that we can all come together," said Haji Dukuray, the uncle of Haja Dukuray, who died with three of her children and her husband.But complications over identifying the victims delayed their release to funeral homes. Earlier in the week, burial services were held for two children at a mosque in Harlem.

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Read full article A memorial for the victims of an apartment building fire is displayed in front of the building in the Bronx borough of New York, Thursday, Jan.A woman writes a note on a memorial at the site of the Bronx fire arrow A woman writes a note on a memorial at the site of the Bronx fire Chau Lam WNYC/Gothamist As victims of the Bronx apartment building fire are laid to rest, community leaders on Thursday demanded city officials do more to help survivors living in temporary hotels find permanent homes.He was last seen Dec.Read full article NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 09: Emergency first responders remain at the scene after an intense fire at a 19-story residential building that erupted in the morning on January 9, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City.

13, 2022. Many of the victims of New York City’s deadliest fire in years are still awaiting burial after funerals began with services for two children killed by Sunday’s blaze in a Bronx apartment building. “Many of the families feel abandoned,” Davids said outside the high-rise building. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) BOBBY CAINA CALVAN January 16, 2022, 8:45 AM · 3 min read NEW YORK (AP) — A Bronx community gathered Sunday to pay its final respects to perished loved ones, a week after a fire filled a high-rise apartment building with thick, suffocating smoke that killed 17 people, including eight children. 14, 2021. The mass funeral caps a week of prayers and mourning within a close-knit community hailing from West Africa, most with connections to the tiny country of Gambia. Earlier this week, more than 200 building residents slept in hotels provided by the Red Cross and the building’s owners. Amid the mourning, there was also frustration and anger as family, friends and neighbors of the dead tried to make sense of the tragedy. Subscribe to The Post Most newsletter for the most important and interesting stories from The Washington Post.

“This is a sad situation. Kelly Magee, a spokeswoman for the building owners, said the heat is on. No cause of death has been released, but the city medical examiner will conduct an autopsy. But everything comes from God. Tragedies always happen, we just thank Allah that we can all come together," said Haji Dukuray, the uncle of Haja Dukuray, who died with three of her children and her husband. Kate Smart, a spokesperson for Mayor Eric Adams, denied that anyone was being forced to return to the building. The dead ranged in age from 2 to 50. Entire families were killed, including a family of five. "Lodging remains available to any resident who would like to stay in emergency hotels. The owners of the Bronx tower are, in addition to Camber, Belveron Partners and LIHC Investment Group, both ranked among the nation's 20 biggest owners of affordable housing, with properties across the country.

Others would leave behind orphaned children. All week, family members had been anxious to lay their loved ones to rest to honor Islamic tradition, which calls for burial as soon after death as possible." Officials said the fire, which started on the third floor, was caused by a defective electric space heater. But complications over identifying the victims delayed their release to funeral homes. Earlier in the week, burial services were held for two children at a mosque in Harlem. In the days following the deadly fire, donations came pouring into the various campaigns raising funds to assist the residents, but community leaders and tenant advocates said Monday the money has not reached survivors who need the funds to help them begin rebuilding their lives. All of the dead collapsed and died after being overcome by smoke while trying to descend down the stairway, which acted as a flue for the heavy smoke. Tenants have told reporters that smoke detectors went off during the fire, but that the alarms rang so frequently at the tower that some residents may have ignored them.

The funeral was held at the Islamic Cultural Center, 2 miles (3 kilometers) from the 19-story apartment building where New York City’s deadliest fire in three decades unfolded. Fundraisers said the money will be distributed, but has to go through a vetting process before it can be fully disbursed. Hundreds filled the mosque and hundreds more huddled in the cold outside to pay their respects. The services were beamed onto jumbo screens outside and in other rooms of the mosque. “They need food. Because of the magnitude of the tragedy, funeral organizers insisted on a public funeral to bring attention to the plight of immigrant families across New York City. “There’s outcry. Some of them are living with diabetes. They have next to no code enforcement.

There’s injustice. There’s neglect,” said Sheikh Musa Drammeh, who was among those leading the response to the tragedy, Story continues Officials blamed a faulty space heater in a third-floor apartment for the blaze, which spewed plumes of suffocating smoke that quickly rose through the stairwell of the 19-story building. Let them cook the food they want to eat, which is good for them. Some residents said space heaters were sometimes needed to supplement the building’s heat and that repairs weren’t always timely. “We want the world to know that they died because they lived in the Bronx,” Drammeh asserted. Jake Offenhartz contributed reporting. “If they lived in midtown Manhattan, they would not have died. "We are devastated by the unimaginable loss of life caused by this profound tragedy," the property owners said in a statement.

Why? Because they wouldn’t need to use space heaters. Get the Gothamist Daily newsletter and don't miss a moment. This is a public outcry. Therefore, there has to be responsibility from the elected officials to change the conditions that causes death every single day.” New York City Mayor Eric Adams was expected to attend the funeral services, as were other elected officials. The investigation into the fire is ongoing. Neighborhood objections, aging buildings and bureaucratic obstacles, they say, make preserving such housing impossibly expensive, and even with the subsidies, such projects can be risky.

Much of the focus centers on the catastrophic spread of the smoke from the apartment. The fire itself was contained to one unit and an adjoining hallway, but investigators said the door to the apartment and a stairway door many floors up had been left open, creating a flue that allowed smoke to quickly spread throughout the building. New York City fire codes generally require apartment doors at larger apartment developments to be spring-loaded and slam shut automatically. In the wake of the deaths, a coalition of officials, including federal, state and city lawmakers announced a legislative agenda they hoped would stiffen fire codes and building standards to prevent similar tragedies from happening. The proposals range from requiring space heaters automatically shutoff and mandating that federally funded apartment projects install self-closing doors on units and stairwells that would have to be inspected on a monthly basis. Its assets, the company says, are worth $3 billion.

As families prepared to bury their loved ones, others remained in hospitals, some in serious condition, because of smoke inhalation. Fundraisers have collected nearly $400,000 thus far. The Mayor’s Fund, Bank of America and other groups said 118 families displaced by the fire would each get $2,250 in aid. Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting Recommended Stories . Just last month, Camber was named "developer of the year" by the New York Housing Conference, a housing policy organization, during a virtual ceremony in which the firm was touted as "builders of hope" and a bridge between the public and private sectors.