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Cardi B Pledges to Donate to Families Affected by Deadly Bronx Fire



On Sunday, January 9th a fire broke out in an apartment complex in the Bronx. While fire is dangerous, it is often the smoke that kills. Due to an as-yet-unknown reason, two doors within the complex designed to prevent the spread of fire failed to close. Rapidly, the upper levels of the complex filled with smoke. As a result, 44 inhabitants were sent to the hospital, and an additional 17 lost their lives. The ages of the casualties ranged from 2-50. In response, Bronx rapper Cardi B stated, “I send my prayers and condolences to everyone affected by this horrific tragedy.” Moreover, she is willing to put her money where her mouth is. As of yesterday, the Bronx native announced that she is both joining the Mayor’s Fund, and paying for the funeral costs of the victims.

The deadliest fire in recent history

This tragedy marks the second deadliest fire in Bronx history since an incident in 1990 which killed 87 people. How could such a thing have happened? It turns out, inside the apartment complex lurked a dangerous combination of safety failures.

By Keith Collins and Anjali Singhvi

On the 3rd floor, an overworked space heater malfunctioned. Reportedly, it had been constantly running for several days in order to supplement the building’s heat during the cold winter months. Meanwhile, the door to the building’s stairwell failed to close. As the blaze grew, its smoke completely filled the stairwell. The complex lacks a fire escape, which most similarly-sized buildings provide. Thus, the smoke blocked off the residents’ only avenue of escape. A second door on the 15th floor additionally failed to close, allowing the smoke to enter upper floors and suffocate their residents. Meanwhile, the residents themselves were completely ignorant of the fire until it was too late. Evidently, the fire alarms in the complex mistakenly go off 5 or 6 times every day. There was no way for residents to tell that this time, it was all too real.

The generosity of Cardi B

Many of the residents in this complex were immigrants on Section 8 housing. Many of the victims were specifically from The Gambia, and their families wanted their remains to be returned to the West African country, an expensive endeavor. On Wednesday, the Mayor of NYC announced that Cardi B had decided to pay the funeral costs for these victims.

“I’m extremely proud to be from the Bronx and I have lots of family and friends who live and work there still. So, when I heard about the fire and all of the victims, I knew I needed to do something to help.” (Cardi B)

Furthermore, the Bronx artist has partnered with the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC. The Fund is a non-profit organization that seeks to improve the lives of all New York citizens, governed by a board of directors appointed by the Mayor.

“I cannot begin to imagine the pain and anguish that the families of the victims are experiencing, but I hope that not having to worry about the costs associated with burying their loved ones will help as they move forward and heal.” (Cardi B)

Cardi B isn’t the only Bronx artist to reach out to those affected by this incident. Fat Joe has started a fundraiser and is asking his fans to help. Reportedly, Jay-Z and DJ Khaled have already donated.

by Chris Colasurdo
@cfcolasurdo on Twitter

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