The 17 victims of the New York apartment fire were all Muslim

Sera Janneh, left, was killed in the fire on East 181th Street. Her younger sister, Isatou, is on the right. Photograph: Janneh Family

All 17 victims who lost their lives eight days ago in a New York apartment block fire were Muslims, according to the names released by fire officials. 

The deceased ranged in age from two to 50. Some died at hospitals, others at the 181st Street scene.

All succumbed to smoke inhalation as ash clouds enveloped hallways in their 19-story Bronx building and blocked escapes.

These are the names of the 17 casualties who came from West Africa, mostly from the Gambia:

Ousmane Konteh, age 2, male

Fatoumata Dukureh, age 5, female

Omar Jambay, age 6, male

Haouwa Mahamdou, age 5, female

Mariam Dukureh, age 11, female

Mustapha Dukyhreh, age 12, male

Seydou Toure, age 12, male

Muhammed Drammeh, age 12, male

Nyumaaisha Drammeh, age 19, female

Foutmala Drammeh, age 21, female

Sera Janneh, age 27, female

Isatou Jabbie, age 31, female

Hagi Jawara, age 37, male

Haja Dukureh, age 37, female

Fatoumata Tunkara, age 43, female

Haji Dukary, age 49, male

Fatoumata Drammeh, age 50, female

The fire was sparked by a malfunctioning heater in one of the third-floor units. Two safety doors that should have automatically closed did not close, which fuelled the spread of smoke and fire.

Here are the stories of some of the victims which have been culled from media reports:

Sera Janneh, 27

Sera was a psychology major and wanted to be a social worker. She was an active member of the Gambian Youth Organization, a community group that serves the neighbourhood and the borough’s west African communities at large.

Seydou Toure, 12

Seydou was an eighth-grade student at the Angelo Patri middle school. His classmate and friend Chanel Álvarez, 13, described him as “a bit of a troublemaker, but a very good kid.”

Haowa Mahamadou, 5

Mahamadou was one of at least four siblings caught in the blaze, according to an online fundraising page set up by her aunt, Khadidja Timbaye, for the family.

The Dukureh family

Haja Dukureh, 37, and her husband, Haji Dukuray, 49, moved from the Gambia more than a decade ago, settling in the Bronx. They had three children in the United States: Mustapha, 12; Mariam, 11; and Fatoumata, five.

The couple worked hard to support their children – Haja as a home health aide and Haji at a local Kentucky Fried Chicken.

The family was devoutly Muslim, and Haji frequented a nearby mosque to pray in the mornings.

The Drammeh family

Fatoumata Drammeh, 50, and her husband, Ishak Drammeh, 57, moved to Twin Parks from the Gambia and lived on the 15th floor for nearly 20 years.

Fatoumata and three of the couple’s children, Fatoumala, 21; Nyumaaisha, 19; and Muhammed, 12, were killed in the fire. They are survived by Ishak and their daughter Fatima, 23, and another son, Yagub, 16, who remains in critical condition.

Isatou Jabbie, 31, and Hagi Jawara, 47

Hagi Jawara worked jobs in construction and at a fried chicken restaurant, and his wife, Isatou Jabbie, was a home health aide. The Gambian couple are survived by their four children, ages six to 15, who were visiting relatives in the west African country at the time of the fire.

Ousmane Konteh, two

The youngest of the fire’s victims, Ousmane Konteh, was staying at a relative’s apartment on the 19th floor when the smoke engulfed the Bronx building.

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