Belcalis Marlenis Almánza, born in Washington Heights and raised in The Bronx and best known as Hip-Hop megastar Cardi B, has announced that she will cover the funeral and burial costs for the victims of the tragic Bronx fire on Sunday, January 9th in Fordham which claimed the lives of 17 residents at 333 E 181st Street.
Cardi B announced in a statement, “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.”
The Hip Hop star, who still occasionally visits the borough, added, “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. I send my prayers and condolences to everyone affected by this horrific tragedy.”
While city officials have blamed a space heater for the fire and an apartment door left open, many have pointed out that these are simply excuses for blaming the victims for what are systemic issues.
Many have pointed out that there wouldn’t be a need for space heaters had the landlords provided sufficient heat and had the doors closed automatically as required by law, both issues which were filed as complaints, we wouldn’t be mourning the loss of so many lives in what is now NYC’s deadliest fire in decades.
Cardi B’s financial assistance is one but many who have contributed to the families since that dark day that took so many lives. Thousands have donated to a GoFundMe fundraiser set up to benefit the Gambian Youth Organization located just a block away from 333 E 181st street, where many of the families had connections, and to date have raised over $1 million.
Most of the victims were from Gambia or of Gambian decent at the building known as one of the epicenters of immigrants in The Bronx from that country.
Many organizations and individuals also got together and donated many needed items such as coats, clothing, and toiletries, as well, for the victims.
This is a tragedy that could have been prevented and now it’s upon us and our elected officials to make sure that it will never happen again.