Man who barely survived deadly Tremont apartment fire making progress 2 years later

Jim Dolan Image
Wednesday, January 3, 2024
Survivor of deadly Bronx apartment fire making progress 2 years later
Jim Dolan has more on Mohammed Almahamoud's recovery.

BRONX, New York (WABC) -- The survivor of a deadly fire at an apartment building in the Bronx, was told he would never walk or talk again, but now almost two years removed from the disaster, he is putting his determination in motion.

Mohammed Almahamoud can stand now, and though it is exhausting, he can take a few tentative steps.

Two years ago, he was a healthy 25-year-old man with a life in front of him, and then, in just minutes, everything changed.

"She said the house is on fire and my brother is inside with four of her children," Almahamoud's sister Amina Maiga said.

The fire at the Twin Parks building in the Tremont section of the Bronx left 17 people dead and dozens injured, not from the flames, but the suffocating black smoke that filled the hallways and climbed the building's stairwell to the floors above.

Five-year-old Haouwa Touré and 10-year-old Seydou Touré, who both lived in the apartment Almahamoud shared with their mother, who had left to go to the grocery store, died in that smoke. Almahamoud was carried out by firefighters, barely alive.

"He was, he looked dead. He was dead," Maiga said.

Almahamoud didn't wake up for a month. Doctors said he had a traumatic brain injury caused by lack of oxygen, and that he would never walk or talk again, and that if he lived, he might not remember even his own family. But when Almahamoud woke up, his sister showed him pictures of his family.

For two years, Almahamoud's life has been filled with exhausting, and sometimes painful rehab, but progress has been slow.

"He's essentially trapped inside of his own body at such a young age where he is fully able to comprehend the conversation, he is able to participate in the conversation but he is not able to really verbally communicate, not able to walk and he'll obviously never work again," Almahamoud's attorney Nick Liakas said.

A team of lawyers representing many of the injured is suing more than 20 companies they believe responsible for the fire and the smoke that spread beyond the apartment where it started, in large part because they say, doors in the building didn't close automatically to prevent the spread of smoke.

"The first thing I want to do is go outside. The last thing on my mind is to close a door. It should be automatic," Almahamoud's sister Hamsattou Almahamoud said.

But the lawsuits cannot salve the grief and the anguish of a family that has lost so much.

Their brother is forever changed.


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