17 people lost their lives in a fire that broke in a Bronx apartment building, New York this Sunday.

The New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) confirmed that the cause of death was smoke inhalation.

The OCME director Julie Bolcer further stated that “the manner of death was determined to be an accident for them all.”

The cause of death was determined accidental after the investigation revealed that an electric space heater caused a fire eruption in a duplex unit which billowed the 19-story building with smoke.

According to the fire officials, “the smoke was able to spread because the door of that apartment and the door from the stairwell to the 15th floor were left open, even though the doors were supposed to close automatically.”

Out of 17 victims, eight were kids – the youngest being 2-year-old.

Here is the complete list of names of the victims with their ages:

  • Fatoumata Drammeh, 50,
  • Foutmala Drammeh, 21,
  • Muhammed Drammeh, 12,
  • Nyumaaisha Drammeh, 19,
  • Haji Dukary, 49,
  • Fatoumata Dukureh, 5,
  • Haja Dukureh, 37,
  • Mariam Dukureh, 11,
  • Mustapha Dukureh, 12,
  • Omar Jambang, 6,
  • Sera Janneh, 27,
  • Haouwa Mahamadou, 5,
  • Seydou Toure, 12,
  • Fatoumata Tunkara, 43,
  • Isatou Jabbie, 31,
  • Hagi Jawara, 47,
  • Ousmane Konteh, 2.

The New York City emergency management (NYCEM) stated that few residents who survived the fire eruption returned to their apartments located on top floors.

US Rep. Ritchie Torres
gothamgazette.com

“Some residents are now able to relocate apartments on the top floors,” said spokeswoman Ines Bebea. “The process is ongoing and evolving.”

“The two values that matter most to all of us are our family and our homes, and to lose both in the span of a single tragedy is terrifying and traumatic to an extent that few of us can imagine,” US Rep. Ritchie Torres, who belongs to the area where the fire erupted. 

According to the health experts, eight people are still being treated in hospitals who were affected by the fire whereas about 25 people have been treated and released from the hospitals.