A solemn vigil on Monday marked the one-year anniversary of one of many darkest days within the metropolis’s historical past — the Bronx blaze on the Twin Parks high-rise that killed 17, together with eight kids.
Survivors and metropolis officers alike gathered on the 19-story Fordham Heights constructing to honor the lifeless and rename the road 17 Abdoulie Touray Way — for the quantity killed and the primary West African immigrant to maneuver into the constructing.
“We recognize those lives on this day one year later,” Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson stated on the vigil. “January 9, 2022, a day that we will forever remember [as] a dark day in the history of our community, of our borough, of our city and of our state.”
“We have found purpose from our pain,” Gibson stated. “We have found strength within the storm. We may be damaged but we are not destroyed. We may be bruised, but we are not broken. We are a strong community.”
For some, nevertheless, the tragedy stays too contemporary.
“I haven’t been able to move on,” Fifteenth-floor tenant Wanda Brown stated Monday.
“The family that lived next to me passed away — those were my neighbors,” stated Brown, 60. “Every day I’ve to cross their door to get to my door. That’s the tragic half as a result of I all the time must cross the door.
“Sometimes when I walk by I can’t even look at it,” she added.
The Jan. 9, 2022 inferno was later blamed on a malfunctioning electrical house heater and fire-safety doorways that failed to shut correctly.
“This was due to lack of proper affordable housing,” New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams stated Monday. “Until we get that right, I feel we will be here again.”
Earlier on Monday Mayor Eric Adams, who was current on the vigil, attended closed providers on the close by Masjid-Ur-Rahmah mosque. Most of the victims have been Muslim immigrants from The Gambia and elsewhere in West Africa, authorities stated.
“Today is an emotional day,” Anthony Wallace, 50, who lived within the constructing when the hearth broke out however has since moved, informed The Post on Monday. “I come by the building every now and then, but this a day to share memories.”
One survivor walked as much as a bunch of firefighters on the scene on Monday and stated merely: “Thank you for saving our lives. You are our heroes.”
Fire officers decided the hearth on the 333 East 181st Street high-rise shortly earlier than 11 a.m. began in house 3N, and spewed lethal smoke all through the constructing.
Mamadou Wague, who lived within the house together with his household, later informed The Post that he believed he pushed the door open too far when he fled, which induced the self-closing door to be jammed open.
According to the official fireplace division report on the deadly fireplace, no less than two stairwell doorways have been additionally left open, additional spreading the smoke all through the 120-unit constructing.
“As occupants evacuated the fire apartment, 3N, the door to the fire apartment was not closed, allowing smoke to travel uninhibited throughout the third-floor hallway,” the 230-page FDNY report, accomplished in September, decided.
“All 17 fatalities either evacuated their apartment into the public halls or attempted to evacuate, hereby opening their living space to the smoke inside the public hallway.”
The Bronx blaze was among the many lethal incidents that helped to encourage an amendment to the US Fire Administration Act in December, which supplies federal fireplace investigators extra authority to analyze the reason for native fires.
The federal fireplace company additionally introduced it would mark the anniversary of the Bronx blaze.