Streams

Bronx Fire Draws Thousands of Mourners and Donations

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Several thousand mourners packed a Bronx mosque and the blocks around it, all to remember the 9 children and 1 mother who were killed in last week's fire.

REPORTER: Since the blaze, the Magassa and Soumare families have seen an outpouring of support from every corner of the city. Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion was one of the many public officials who support for the bereaved families.

CARRION: They're going to see the outpouring of love and support of a city that is a global city. They came from West Africa and people come from so many other places. But, when you're here, you belong to the New York family and to the American family.

REPORTER: The foreign minister and ambassador of Mali, as well as representatives of other African countries have all visited the Bronx to pay their respects. Last night, the mother of the Soumare family and the bodies of her four children left for Mali, where they will be buried. The 5 children of the Magassa family were buried yesterday at an Islamic cemetery in New Jersey.

The blaze has prompted a huge outpouring of support among New Yorkers. The family received nearly $200,000 in donations. Yankees owner George Steinbrenner paid for the funeral and Air France will fly 5 of the victims to Mali for burial. Immigrant groups also mobilized - Imam Hafiz Choudhury delivered a contribution from the city's Bangladeshi community.

CHOUDHURY: We just came here for the sympathy and for the family members. Also, we collected some money and we'll donate around $4000 to the funeral.

REPORTER: Choudhury says it's important for Muslims to support each other in times of tragedy. Several dignitaries also visited the mosque to pay their respects, including Senator Hillary Clinton and Mayor Bloomberg.

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