With prayers, flowers and a brand new road signal, individuals gathered Monday for a somber ceremony to mark the anniversary of one of many deadliest fires in New York Metropolis’s historical past.
Collectively, a tightly-knit Bronx neighborhood raised a brand new road signal, 17 Abdoulie Tourway Means, honoring the primary Gambian immigrant to name the Fordham Heights neighborhood house.
The quantity 17 remembers the variety of lives misplaced final 12 months within the Twin Parks constructing fireplace on East 181st Street. Many who died within the fireplace have been immigrants from Gambia and different West African nations.
Greater than 60 individuals have been injured and dozens have been displaced from the 19-story advanced. Their ache continues to be understandably uncooked.
Idrissa Drammeh is likely one of the many neighborhood members nonetheless reeling from the loses. The hearth claimed 4 members of his household.
“Anytime we think about it, it seems like it happened today. This couldn’t go away,” Drammeh mentioned.
Authorities mentioned a malfunctioning electrical house heater began the blaze, and a door left open allowed smoke to unfold all through the constructing.
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams mentioned that whereas adjustments have been made because the lethal fireplace, extra is required.
“This was due to lack of proper affordable housing. Until we take away the profit that people make by providing unacceptable housing, trying to feel with a housing crisis, this will continue to happen,” Williams mentioned.
Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a regulation again in December that requires house heaters bought within the state to have a thermostat, embrace an automated shutdown and be licensed.
The top of the U.S. Fire Administration will likely be in NYC on Tuesday to unveil a brand new nationwide technique to battle “America’s fire problem,” that features coaching, implementing and implementing codes and requirements.