Family members of the victims from Sunday’s deadly fire in the Bronx continue to gather in their mosque in prayer — loved ones, friends and even visitors consoling those who are grieving. They are also asking for the healing of others still in the hospital.
For Ishak Drammeh, those are comforting words. He lost his wife, two daughters and a son.
Another son suffered smoke inhalation, but is doing much better.
“My first son, 16-years-olds, he is in the hospital in recovery,” said Drammeh. “Hopefully they might release him today or tomorrow in sha’Allah [God willing]. He’s talking and they are showing him how to do things, walking around, eating, chatting with his sister.”
Funerals were held Wednesday afternoon for two siblings. Family and friends gathered at the Timbuktu Islamic Center in Harlem to say goodbye to 12-year-old Seydou Toure and his 5-year-old sister Haouwa Mahamadou.
Their parents are from Mali, a West African country.
The 15 other victims of the fire are believed to be Gambian. Many of their funerals are expected to happen at the same time at the Cultural Islamic Center of the Bronx on East 166th Street by the end of the week.
The victims attended worship services at Masjid Ar-Rahama on Webster Avenue.
Imam Musa Kabba has tried to prepare loved ones for the solemn and emotional funerals.
“I have already talked to the family. That it is hard, but this is what we have to do,” said Kabba. “They have to know they are not alone in this. All over the world is with them. All are giving their support, their prayer. They have to be strong, we are all in this together.”
Many of the victims will be buried in New York and New Jersey, but some may be flown back to Gambia for a final resting place. Those arrangements are still being worked out.
For Yusupha Jawara, the deaths of his brother Hagi Jawara and sister-in-law Isatou Jabbie are still unbelievable.
He said EMS workers were doing CPR on one victim, so he helped push the stretcher.
He said he did not realized until much later it was his brother’s wife on the stretcher.
While telling the story, he began to cry.