Members of the New York Muslim community have been rallying support for the victims of the Bronx building fire incident in which 19 people, including nine children, were killed on Sunday.
“What describes these people is resilient. They are faithful, and they are hopeful,” Sheikh Musa Drammeh told CBS Local.
Sunday’s fire originated in a duplex apartment spanning the second and third floors. The fire is not believed to be suspicious, but the cause is under investigation, officials said.
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Officials said the blaze, which hit a community of Muslim migrants from Gambia, injured more than 63 people, 32 of whom were in life-threatening condition.
Drammeh has been brought in to help the city coordinate efforts to ensure burial services are done within the Islamic tradition.
Two blocks from the fire location, the Gambian Youth Organization has started collecting donations for families. The group has also started a GoFund me to help victims.
Till the time of writing, people have raised $250,229, the funds which will be distributed to the families by the Gambian Youth Organization (GYO).
“We want these families to get the help they need. These are people that lost everything … everything,” Salim Drammeh said.
“We literally called, from our pantry list, we called a family and we had a mother stating that she lost two of her children, so we also need money to help with the burial.”
Islam is the third most widely professed religion in New York City, after Christianity and Judaism.
A 2018 study estimated that there are over 750,000 Muslims living in New York City, the largest population of Muslims by city in the United States.