Cardi B to Cover Funeral Expenses for Victims of Bronx Fire: 'I Needed to Do Something to Help'
Cardi, 29 — who grew up in the Bronx — will pay for funeral expenses of all 17 victims of the Jan. 9 apartment building fire, according to a Wednesday press release. The tragedy, which is believed to have been caused by a faulty electrical heater, is New York City's deadliest fire in three decades, according to the Associated Press.
Cardi is working with the Mayor's Fund's Bronx Fire Relief Fund to help victims' families, and will also cover repatriation expenses, as some victims will be buried in the Gambia, a country in West Africa.
"I'm extremely proud to be from the Bronx and I have lots of family and friends who live and work there still," Cardi said in a statement, per Wednesday's release. "So, when I heard about the fire and all of the victims, I knew I needed to do something to help."
"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," she continued.
Cardi added, "I send my prayers and condolences to everyone affected by this horrific tragedy."
The Bronx fire spread through a 19-story apartment building, injuring many and claiming the lives of 17 people inside. All victims died of smoke inhalation in the fire, according to the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, PEOPLE previously reported.
The victims of the fire include four members of the Drammeh family — Fatoumata Drammeh, 50; Foutmala Drammeh, 21; Muhammed Drammeh, 12; and Nyumaaisha Drammeh, 19 — PEOPLE reported.
Additional victims include Sera Janneh, 27; Seydou Toure, 12; Haouwa Mahamadou, 5; Haji Dukary, 49; Haja Dukureh, 37; Mustapha Dukureh, 12; Mariam Dukureh, 11; Fatoumata Dukureh, 5; Omar Jambang, 6; Fatoumata Tunkara, 43; Isatou Jabbie, 31; Hagi Jawara, 47 and 2-year-old Ousmane Konteh.
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New York City Mayor Eric Adams said during a Jan. 9 news conference that the tragedy was "going to be one of the worst fires we have witnessed in modern times here in the City of New York."
He added, "We are going to do everything we can to bring services on the ground here to give them the assistance they need as we all recover from the trauma of what we are witnessing here in the buildings behind us."
The American Red Cross is helping victims of the fire, and is currently accepting donations. Those interested in donating can do so here.