Bronx fire tragedy victims remembered

10 people, 9 of them kids, killed in Bronx fire last year
March 7, 2008 3:04:27 PM PST
The victims of New York City's deadliest fire in almost four decades are being remembered today, a year after the blaze that killed 10 people who shared a Bronx home. Nine were children.Eyewitness News reporter Lisa Colagrossi has the story.

This is, no doubt a painful day for the Magassa and Soumare families as they attend a memorial service to remember the victims.

1022 Woodycrest Avenue is empty with plywood boarding up the windows -- a silent reminder of the horror of March 7, 2007.

One year ago on this day, a mother, and nine children from two families died in a late night fire in the Highbridge neighborhood. They lived in a 100-year-old building where 22 African immigrants lived.

The ferocious fire killed 10 people, 9 of them children.

Those inside the burning inferno threw the children out the windows, in a desperate attempt to save their lives.

"The lady trapped on the third floor didn't want to throw the kids out, she was hesitant at first. She couldn't see us with all the smoke...so she threw the kids out to me too, then she jumped out the third floor window," a rescuer said.

The fire broke out just after 11p.m. that night, sparked by an overheated cord to a space heater in the basement bedroom.

The woman who first noticed the fire tried to first put it out by herself, not calling 9-1-1 for several minutes. Also, the building's two smoke detectors also had no batteries.

Mamadou Soumare lost his 42 year old wife, his six-year-old daughter, his three-year-old son and seven month old twins.

In the other family, the fire killed five of Moussa Magassa's 11 children.

Neighbors stopped by today to sign posters on the fence, remembering the lives lost one-year ago.

There will be traditional prayer today during the ceremony. A large portion of the neighborhood have shown up for the memorial.


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