Man helping Bronx fire victims saw brother’s body on gurney

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A man who helped race victims of the deadly Bronx high-rise fire to a nearby hospital now realizes his brother was among the bodies he saw on gurneys.

Yusupha Jawara, 46, recalled how he had raced to the smoke-filled building Sunday and started transporting the injured to St. Barnabas Hospital.

He had no idea that his brother, Hagi Jawara, and sister-in-law, Isatou Jabbie, were among the 17 who perished, assuming the parents of four would be safe on the 18th floor, far from the fire that started 15 stories below.

Even when he saw a partially masked man who looked just like his 47-year-old brother he did not immediately make the connection, he said.

“I was just helping the EMS transport one person to the hospital when I saw him — somebody similar like him — on a stretcher being brought to the ER,” Jawara told the Associated Press.

“At that time, I didn’t have the focus to know that it was him,” he said of the chaos of the rescue attempts.

Yusupha previously told The Post that his brother’s four children, aged 6 to 15, were visiting relatives in The Gambia at the time of the deadly fire — and as of Tuesday had yet to be told about their parents’ deaths.

Isatou Jabbie and Hagi Jawara.
Yusupha Jawara’s brother, Hagi Jawara, and sister-in-law, Isatou Jabbie, were among the 17 who died from the fire.
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“We don’t want to put it out to them just like that,” he said of his two nephews and pair of nieces, saying the family was waiting for an “appropriate” time to tell the kids.

“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.”

The couple was among 17 who died, including eight children ranging in age from 2 to 12 years old. The oldest fatality was a 50-year-old mother.

Firefighter carries child from apartment building fire.
Eight children ranging in age from 2 to 12 years old are included in the death toll.
Theodore Parisienne/New York Daily News/TNS via ZUMA Press Wire

All of the victims died of smoke inhalation, according to the medical examiner’s office, which has begun releasing some of the dead to funeral homes.

At least a dozen of those who perished worshipped at the Masjid-Ur-Rahmah mosque, where imam Musa Kabba has been helping the community grieve.

“Things have been very slow, but we have to be patient,” the imam said.

Inside burned apartment.
All of the victims died of smoke inhalation, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Ishak Drammeh arrived at the mosque Tuesday to pray. He lost his wife, Fatoumata, and three children — two adult daughters, Foutmala and Nyumaaisha, and a son, Muhammad, who had just turned 12 the day before the fire.

Also among the dead was the five-member Dukureh family: Haja Dukureh and Haji Dukureh, originally from Gambia, and their three children.

“This is a very close-knit community. We are predominantly from one town in the Gambia called Alunghare, so we are all family,” said Haji Dukureh, the uncle of Haja Dukureh, whose husband had the same name. The surviving uncle drove to the Bronx from his home in Delaware on Monday.

Bronx fire victims.
Among the dead were Haja Dukureh and Haji Dukureh, and their three children.
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“Most of the people here, we are all related in one way or the other.”

Because many people in the building were also members of the same congregation, “it’s like one big family,” he said.

“We just want to have the deceased and place them in their final resting place,” Dukureh said.

With Post wires

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