17 dead in Bronx Fire

Better safety regulations demanded after space heater sparks Bronx fire

A Bronx apartment building suffered extreme fire damage after safety protocol failed to act. The fire resulted in the death of 17 people, eight of whom were children. The coroner reported that all victims died from smoke inhalation. A space-heater initiated the fire, which spread throughout the 19-story apartment building. 

At least 72 were injured and 35 of those the injured are facing life-threatening conditions. This was New York’s worst fire since 1990, “when 87 people died in an arson at the Happy Land social club, also in the Bronx,” according to NBC. The Bronx also faced deadly fires in 2007 and 2017. 

“At least eight patients are still hospitalized in relation to the fire, while at least 25 people have been treated and released,” according to CNN. 

The smoke was able to spread quickly, “because the door of that apartment and the door from the stairwell to the 15th floor were left open, even though the doors were supposed to close automatically,” according to CNN.

Many of the victims lost all of their belongings and are suffering from smoke inhalation. Some of the residents are being allowed to reenter the 120-unit building and their apartments. 

The Ministry of Foreign affairs in Gambia posted about the tragedy on Facebook sharing their condolences for the victims and their families. “The apartment building ravaged by the fire is said to have been predominantly occupied by Gambian immigrants,” they shared. Eleven of those who died in the fire were Gambians, six of whom were children. 

On Jan. 16, thousands gathered outside the Islamic Cultural Center to remember the victims of the Bronx fire. Members from the community and local officials “called for change to ensure such a tragedy never happens again,” according to the Washington Post. 

Those who spoke at the funeral stressed how affordable housing units should ensure the safety of the tenants. “Local elected officials and leaders echoed that assessment, especially for Black, Brown and immigrant communities like the ones living in the Bronx complex,” according to the Washington Post. 

A fund was created by the State of New York to provide aid and relief to the victims in the fire. $2 million “will provide tenants with case management services, personal property replacement and relocation and rental assistance to help address critical household needs,” according to New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s office. 

On Tuesday morning NDSU fire alarms went off in the Memorial Union, causing students, faculty and staff inside the building to evacuate. A “sprinkler line pipe froze in the lower level which caused the alarm to sound,” said Paul Wraalstad, Director of Memorial Union Operations. 

NDSU regulates space heaters, extension cords and candles to prevent fires from occurring around campus and in residence halls. Fire doors are prohibited from being propped open in the case of a fire. Storage near ceilings and sprinkler systems are also regulated to prevent the spread of a fire. 

New York Politicians are demanding more regulations for privately-run housing. “The new rule would require landlords to install temperature monitors in buildings where tenants receive housing vouchers to ensure that apartments are receiving the required amounts of heat,” according to the New York Post. 

According to the Washington Post, “the 17 victims were identified by city officials as Isatou Jabbie, 31; Hagi Jawara, 47; Ousmane Konteh, 2; Sera Janneh, 27; Seydou Toure, 12; Haouwa Mahamadou, 5; Haji Dukary, 49; Haja Dukureh, 37; Mustapha Dukureh, 12; Mariam Dukureh, 11; Fatoumata Dukureh, 5; Fatoumata Drammeh, 50; Foutmala Drammeh, 21; Muhammed Drammeh, 12; Nyumaaisha Drammeh, 19; Omar Jambang, 6; and Fatoumata Tunkara, 43.”

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