NEW YORK (CBSNew York) – We now know the identities of the 17 people killed in the Bronx skyscraper fire.
The youngest was only 2 years old. The oldest was a 50-year-old mother.
- Isatou Jabbie, 31 years old
- Hagi Jawara, 47 years old
- Ousmane Conteh, 2 years old
- Sera Janneh, 27
- Seydou Touré, 12 years old
- Haouwa Mahamadou, 5 years old
- Haji Dukary, 49 years old
- Haja Dukureh, 37 years old
- Mustapha Dukureh, 12 years old
- Mariam Dukureh, 11 years old
- Fatoumata Dukureh, 5 years old
- Fatoumata Drammeh, 50 years old
- Foutmala Drammeh, 21 years old
- Muhammed Drammeh, 12 years old
- Nyumaaisha Drammeh, 19
- Omar Jambang, 6 years old
- Fatoumata Tunkara, 43 years old
READ MORE: 14 Bronx skyscraper fire victims identified, as FDNY investigation focuses on self-closing doors
As CBS2’s Christina Fan reported on Wednesday, their heartbroken families begin the moving task of planning the funeral and honoring their lives.
Some losses are so painful, even the most faithful wonder why.
Inside the Masjid Ar-Rahama Mosque on Webster Avenue, Ishak Drammeh hopes to find this answer through prayer, mourning the loss of his wife, two daughters and son.
“As soon as they called me and told me the building was on fire, I was like somewhere between heaven and sky, like my foot wasn’t even in the ground,” Drammeh said.
Drammeh said he was working in Ohio on Sunday when he learned his family’s skyscraper was on fire. He rushed to take the first bus back, only to be greeted with overwhelming news.
His 21-year-old daughter, Fatoumala, was about to graduate from the University of Buffalo. Her 19-year-old daughter, Nyumaaisha, worked as a nurse. Her youngest boy, Muhammed, had just turned 12.
“I love you all. I miss you all. And I hope they will be in Heaven soon,” Drammeh said.
Watch: Christina Fan’s 5pm report on the deadly Bronx High-Rise Fire
A few floors above the Drammeh, the entire Dukureh family of five were also killed by the suffocating smoke. Family members said Haja and Haji Dukureh were the most loving parents of three beautiful children.
“They were so young and they were so good. It is as if the Lord Allah takes away only the good ones – the grandmother, the grandfather, the grandchildren, ”said Uncle Haji Dukuray.
Families were not alone in their grief. Imam Musa Kabba said all of the victims were followers of the Muslim faith and frequented the mosque. He said he was trying to guide broken families through the unimaginable hurt.
“I am trying to do my best with the help of Allah, my God,” Kabba said.
Tijan Janneh was also among the many who sought comfort through prayer at the mosque.
One of his daughters, Sera, died in the fire. Her other 19-year-old daughter is in the hospital fighting for her life.
“The doctors told us it was essential, but they would make sure it was 50%,” Tijan Janneh said.
He says the family broke up in the smoke.
For Breanna Elleston, the thought of Sera, her best friend, trying to escape from her troubled and frightened Bronx apartment building is painful.
READ MORE: Bronx skyscrapers fire: Some city residents say they have no choice but to use heaters on freezing cold days
“I don’t know what I’m going to do without it,” Elleston told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis.
The 27-year-olds have been close since high school.
“She was my best friend. I was her best friend. We do everything together,” Elleston said.
She says Sera always put others first, so it’s fitting that she was studying psychology at Lehman College, hoping to make a career out of helping people.
“Just a very kind, loving and supportive person,” Elleston said.
It was impossible for him to hold back his emotions as he imagined life without Sera.
“I just wish I could tell her I loved her. We just don’t tell each other enough,” she said.
Watch: Kevin Rincon’s 6 p.m. report on the deadly Bronx High-Rise Fire
As family, friends and complete strangers gathered, they were greeted with the generosity of a community that continued to donate, reported CBS2’s Kevin Rincon.
“The support we get from everyone, wishes, condolences and prayers, is really what keeps us strong,” said Dukuray.
The smoke that erupted from the stairwell claimed the lives of eight children in all. Among them, Omar Jambang, who was 6 years old. Waasa Touray knew him and his father well.
” I can not sleep. I can not sleep. It’s so sad, ”Touray said.
This boy’s mother, Fatoumata Tunkara, is also deceased. She was like a mother to her cousin, Ansumana Susso.
“My heart is completely broken because I haven’t spoken to her in a while because of my work schedule and everything. So I couldn’t say goodbye so it hurts me, ”Susso said.
Back at the Fordham Heights skyscraper, the windows were boarded up and families were deciding if they wanted to return. Yesbely Fernandez made a few stops at the site to collect her belongings, but said she couldn’t live there, having seen so many casualties.
“I see them all the time. We pass each other in the elevator: ‘Hello, how are you? Good evening. Good night.’ It’s a family you see all the time, ”Fernandez said.
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Christina Fan and Kevin Rincon of CBS2 contributed to this report.