Islamic Cultural Center helps families of Bronx fire victims prepare funeral services
Some grieving families of victims of Sunday’s fatal Bronx fire are preparing for funeral services with the assistance of the Islamic Cultural Center in Concourse.
Members of the center on East 166th St. have been helping 19-year-old Abdullate Chan in his time of grief. The teen lost his mother and his 5-year-old brother in the fire.
Chan, who was at work at the time, says he rushed to the scene after getting a text from a friend that the high-rise was on fire.
“When I got there, everyone came out of the building. I went to the cafeteria— I didn't see my mom, I didn't see my little sister or my brother,” Chan says. “They gave me the wrong information. They told me that ‘She's good, she's OK.’ All of a sudden, seconds later, I asked about my little brother— he was gone. They told me about my mom— she was gone.”
Chan says his mother and brother were visiting a relative in the building and had slept over. He also feared that his sister was in the building, but she was not.
The Islamic Cultural Center is assisting Chan with funeral arrangements. So far, 11 funerals for members of the Gambian community are scheduled to take place at the center.
“So, funeral services will be beginning once we get the clearance from authorities,” says Bakary Camra, of the Islamic Cultural Center. “The ones who will be buried here will be buried here, and the ones who will be sent back home will be sent back home.”
Chan says he's thankful for the support of his Muslim brother and sisters and the community.
Local Islamic leaders say the funerals will take place throughout the week and the earliest one could take place on Wednesday.