What to Know
- Eight children are among the 17 confirmed dead in Sunday's Bronx fire tragedy; many are still fighting for their lives in hospitals
- Each of the fatalities were people overcome by smoke as hallways of the 19-story East 181st Street building turned into ash clouds
- The victims identified range in age from just 2 years old to 50 years old
New York City's deadliest fire in three decades claimed the lives of at least 17 people, eight of them children. A dog lost from its owner's grip in her desperate attempt to escape the flames swallowing the 19-story Bronx high-rise where she lived is also among the dead. More lives may be lost in the days to come as well.
A senior police official with direct knowledge of the investigation shared some information with News 4 on Monday regarding six of the youngest who lost their lives. Two were just 5, and several appear to be from the same families.
According to the senior police official, the children taken to hospitals who later died included:
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- Fatoumata Dukureh, age 5, female
- Mariam Dukureh, age 11, female
- Haouwa Mahamdou, age 5, female
- Mustapha Dukyhreh, age 12, male
- Omar Jambay, age 6, male
- Seydou Toure, age 12, male
Late Tuesday and early Wednesday, the FDNY released the names and ages of the 11 additional victims who died in the fire, nine of whom were adults. The two children were just 12 and 2 years old.
- Ousmane Konteh, age 2, male
- Muhammed Drammeh, age 12, male
- Nyumaaisha Drammeh, age 19, female
- Foutmala Drammeh, age 21, female
- Fatoumata Drammeh, age 50, female
- Haja Dukureh, age 37, female
- Haji Dukary, age 49, male
- Sera Janneh, age 27, female
- Fatoumata Tunkara, age 43, female
- Isatou Jabbie, age 31, female
- Hagi Jawara, age 37, male
It was not immediately clear if or how any of the victims identified by officials were related to one another.
The fire, sparked by a space heater in one of the units on East 181st Street, injured more than 70 people, 59 of whom were hospitalized. The senior police official told News 4 at least 10 children in addition to those who died were taken to hospitals. They range in age from 7 months to 16 years. No updates on their conditions were immediately known.
At least a dozen victims including adults were said to be still fighting for their lives as hospitals staff tried desperately to mitigate the loss in the days following the blaze.
All of those who died succumbed to smoke inhalation in the ashy hallways of the 19-story building, officials have said. Here's what else we know:
- The FDNY said that 35 people were still in the hospital as of Tuesday, battling life-threatening injuries. Another 37 were being treated, but are expected to recover.
- Nine of the 29 victims transported to St. Barnabas Hospital died. Two of those were children. seven patients intubated were taken to Cornell or Westchester Medical Center. The remaining patients have been discharged.
- Two of 19 patients transferred to Jacobi Medical Center died. Five remain at the hospital in serious condition, while the others have been either discharged or transferred to other facilities.
- Of the 15 patients treated at New York-Presbyterian, two died, five were discharged and eight still remain hospitalized.
The Red Cross is assisting at least 53 families that were displaced by the blaze, providing housing for 34 of those families.. Here are some ways you can help the victims.
On Tuesday, a dozens gathered outside the building to mourn and grieve for those lost, as well as pray for those still recovering and those who were impacted by the fire. Local leaders passed out candles, as the broken community tried to pull itself back together once again.
"Tonight is a night that we feel. We feel the broken hearted, those whose spirits have ben crushed as a result of this fire," said New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Video surfaced of what it looked like inside the building on Sunday. A tenant, Yesbely Fernandez, shared video she took as she evacuated her 15th floor apartment, slowly making her way down the stairs.
"Coming out the building, you see people with no clothes on, you see the firefighters on them just giving them CPR. It was scary." said Fernandez, who has not yet been been able to get back inside her apartment. She has been staying at a hotel in Harlem, and assumes most of her belongings have been destroyed — but she's grateful to be alive.
"I called 911 a hundred times, scared because I'm thinking they're going to leave me here and I'm going to die," Fernandez said. "The family next to me died. The whole family, because of smoke inhalation, on the 15th floor."
Donations from every corner of the city have been coming in so rapidly, that no mare can even be accepted at nearby Monroe College.
Meanwhile, a woman who barely escaped the building filed the first lawsuit against the city and the building's owner as a result of the fire. The lawsuit was filed by Rosa Reyes, who made it down 16 flights of stairs, and seeks $1 billion in damages.
Reyes accuses the building's owner and the city of negligence, because the doors that were supposed to close automatically and prevent all the smoke from spreading, failed to do so.
Her husband, Felix Martinez, collapsed along the way down, and is listed in critical condition at Jacobi Medical Center. The couple's attorney, Robert Vilensky, said that Martinez's lung capacity is "near-zero," and that he is on a respirator, unable to breathe on his own.
"The odds on being able to come back from that, are very slim," Vilensky said.
A representative for the building's owner said that there were no open violations for the doors in question at the time of the fire. City housing officials said that previous violations were taken care of by the building's previous owners.