NEW YORK – The youngest was 2 years old. The oldest was 50. Many loved ones have been lost in the loss of a family. Students have lost friends. Fathers and mothers lost their children.

Seventeen people in the Bronx died Sunday in one of the worst New York City fires in decades after a malfunctioning space heater ignited and smoke smothered the building, authorities said.

All 17, including eight children, died from smoke inhalation, according to the city’s medical examiner. Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said two self-closing doors – one at the unit where the fire started and the other at the 15th-floor stairwell – did not shut properly, allowing the smoke to spread.

Tuesday’s release by the New York Police Department of names and addresses of victims included multiple families.

Eric Adams, Mayor of New York City said at Monday’s news conference that this was a “global tragedy.” “Everyone feels the pain we feel.”

Community members mourned the victims at a candlelight vigil at the building Tuesday. Many of the victims worshipped at the nearby Masjid-Ur-Rahmah mosque, and some were of Gambian descent.

LEARN MORE:Smoke from a space heater fire claimed 17 lives in a New York apartment block

Family Dukuray

Haji Dukuray, 49; Haja Dukuray, 37; and their three children, Mustapha, 12; Mariam, 11; and Fatoumata, 5, were killed in the blaze.

New York police provided a different spelling for the family’s last name; however, a GoFundMe spelled it Dukuray, and family members told The New York Times the spelling was Dukuray.

Hawa Dukuray told The New York Times by a relative that their family was close.

Haji worked at a restaurant, and Haja was a home health aide, Hawa Dukuray told the newspaper. The children were bright students, and Mustapha received high grades in school, she said. They immigrated to Gambia from their parents in 2007.

HOW TO STAY SAFEPrevent a house fire

The Drammeh Family

Fatoumata Drammeh, 50, and her three children, Fatoumala, 21; Nyumaaisha “Aisha,”  19; and Muhammed, 12, were among the dead.

New York police provided a different spelling for Fatoumala’s name; however, a GoFundMe spelled it Fatoumala, and Ishak Drammeh, the children’s father, told the New York Post and the Times her name was Fatoumala.

Ishak Drahmmeh said to news media that he was on business in Ohio at the time the fire broke out.

“One day they are just gone, and you will never see them again,” he told the Post on Tuesday.

SPACE HEATERS ARE SAFE? Experts say that even simple errors can set off a firestorm and lead to death.

Fatoumala was studying economics at the University at Buffalo and was set to graduate soon, Drammeh told the Times and the Post. According to Nyumaaisha, Nyumaaisha was a nurse and would be starting college in the new year.

Fatima Drahmmeh, 23 years old, was away when the fire began.told the Times the family had celebrated her brother Muhammed’s 12th birthday at a trampoline park. 

“We were all just jumping around, racing, we were trying to race on the obstacle courses,” she told the newspaper. “It’s a sweet memory that I have.”

Hagi Jawara and Isatou Jabbie

Hagi Jawara, 47, and his wife, Isatou Jabbie, 31, died.

Jawara’s brother, Yusupha, told The Associated Press he rushed to the scene of the fire from his home nearby to help emergency medical workers. The man on the gurney looked exactly like his brother.

“I was just helping the EMS transport one person to the hospital when I saw him – somebody similar like him – on a stretcher being brought to the ER,” he told the news agency. “At that time, I didn’t have the focus to know that it was him.”

SELF-CLOSING DOORS:City inspectors have previously raised concerns about self-closing doors

He tried calling his brother and sister-in-law later in the day but never heard back. GoFundMe reported that the couple had left four children. According to police, the spelling of Hagi’s and Isatou was different on this page. The spelling was also different from what Yusupha Jawara told The Associated Press.

Yusupha Jawara told the New York Post he was making funeral arrangements and trying to figure out how to break the news to his brother’s children.

“(Jabbie) loved her kids to death,” he said. She said that her children were the best thing in her entire life.

Ousmane Konteh

At 2 years old, Ousmane Konteh was the youngest victim of the fire.

Fatoumata Tunkara and Omar Jambang

Fatoumata Tunkara, 43, was with her son Omar Jambang, 6, when the fire broke out.

Another son, Abdullaie Chan, 19, told the New York Daily News that his mother and brother were trapped on the 19th floor inside a friend’s apartment.

“I knew she was in that building, but I thought she got out in time,” Chan told the newspaper. “Calling her, calling her, more than 40 times. She didn’t pick up the phone. … I feel like she was not supposed to be there.”

Chan claimed he had three older sisters whom he is responsible for. A GoFundMe page, which said the family was from Gambia, tried to raise money to bring Tunkara and Omar’s bodies back home.

Sera Janneh

Sera Janneh, 27, rushed to escape from her sixth floor apartment with her family, her sister Mareama told The New York Times.

Janneh collapsed, and another sister, Isatou, was hospitalized. A GoFundMe page said Isatou Janneh was intubated because of the smoke inhalation.

Mareama Janneh told the Times that Sera was a student at Lehman College in the Bronx, studying to become a social worker, and she was an active member of the Gambian Youth Organization.

Seydou Toure

Seydou Toure, 12, an eighth grader who died in the fire, was a student at Angelo Patri Middle School, next door to the apartment building, The New York Times reported.

According to the Times, his classmates marched across the street on Tuesday in order to post a banner with Seydou’s photo at the building.

“They wanted to do this, and for me, it’s all about what they want to do, how they want to express their emotions,” Angel Ortega, the school’s principal, told the newspaper.

Haouwa Mahamadou

Haouwa Mahamadou, 5, was killed in the fire.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Source: USAToday.com

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