Bronx fire orphans four kids who don’t know their parents died



Four kids were orphaned in Sunday’s horrific Bronx blaze — and they don’t even know it yet.

The children, ages 6 to 15, have been visiting relatives in The Gambia while their parents returned home early to the family’s apartment in the doomed high-rise — and the mom and dad died in the fire, a relative told The Post on Tuesday.

“We don’t want to put it out to them just like that,” Yusupha Jawara, 46, of the Bronx said of his two nephews and pair of nieces.

Relatives are waiting for the “appropriate” time to tell the kids that their parents — Jawara’s brother, Hagi Jawara, 47, and sister-in-law, Isatou Jabbie, 31 — were among the 17 dead, the man said.

“[Jabbie] loved her kids to death,” Jawara said. “The kids were her life.

“Right now, we are trying to get the bodies and arrange the funerals and how to break the news to [the children],” Jawara said. “Then, as a family, we will sit down together and figure out what will happen next.”

Firemen stand at the scene of a fire at a multi-level apartment building in the Bronx
Firemen stand at the scene of the fatal fire at a multi-level apartment building in the Bronx.
REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

Jawara said his brother had previously told him there were “issues” with the heat in the building and submitted complaints to building reps.

Last year, Hagi “said the heat was not normal, it’s cold,” Jawara said. “He said the heaters were not working properly.”

A space heater in another resident’s apartment is believed to have sparked the killer blaze.

Five alarm fire at 333 East 181st Street in The Bronx.
The children, currently in The Gambia, don’t yet know their parents died in the fire.

Jawara said his brother and his family lived on the 18th floor of the building. Hagi worked jobs in construction and at a fried-chicken restaurant.

He was a “jovial,” kind-hearted and religious man, his brother said. “He was always smiling and laughing with everyone, never had a disagreement with anybody.”

Isatou worked as a home health aide, her brother-in-law said.

Inside the aprartment where blaze started
A space heater in a resident’s apartment is believed to have started the fire.

Jawara said he last spoke to his brother late Saturday, just hours before the deadly blaze broke out the next day.

“We were just talking about family things,” Jawara recalled. “He mentioned he was trying to bring the kids back by the end of the month.”

Hagi and his wife had returned from The Gambia just weeks ago while visiting her mother. The children were expected to return to the US by the end of the month.

Emergency personnel work at the scene of a fatal fire at an apartment building in the Bronx
Emergency personnel work at the scene of the fire.
AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura

Now the family must decide where the orphaned children will live.

Their parents will be buried in The Gambia, Jawara said.


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