Islamic Cultural Center helps families of Bronx fire victims prepare for funeral

Some grieving families of the victims of the deadly Bronx fire on Sunday are preparing for the funeral with help from the Islamic Cultural Center in Concourse.

Members of the 166th Street East center assisted 19-year-old Abdullate Chan in his mourning. The teenager lost his mother and 5-year-old brother to the fire.

Chan, who was at work at the time, says he rushed to the scene after receiving a text from a friend saying the skyscraper was on fire.

“When I arrived, everyone left the building. I went to the cafeteria – I didn’t see my mom, I didn’t see my little sister or my brother, ”Chan says. “They gave me wrong information. They told me she’s fine, she’s fine. All of a sudden, seconds later, I asked about my little brother – he was gone. They told me about my mother, she was gone.

Chan said his mother and brother were visiting a relative in the apartment building and had slept at his house. He was also worried that his sister was in the building, but she wasn’t.

The Islamic Cultural Center is helping Chan organize the funeral. So far, 11 funerals for members of the Gambian community are planned at the center.

“So the funeral services will start once we get permission from the authorities,” said Bakary Camra of the Islamic Cultural Center. “Those who are buried here will be buried here, and those who are sent home will be sent home.”

Chan says he is grateful for the support of his Muslim brothers and sisters and the community.

Local Islamic leaders say the funeral will take place throughout the week with the premieres possibly taking place on Wednesday.

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