Bronx fires: Gambian ambassador to US says blaze is ‘shock in our country”



Around 19 people were killed in the fatal blaze that occurred in a residential apartment building in the Bronx in New York City, authorities said. More than 60 were injured — some with life-threatening conditions, according to city officials.

“I think a lot of Gambians who came here, they stayed there before they moved anywhere else. This was kind of a first port of call, this building. It’s a building Gambians have a lot of attachment to,” Ambassador Dawda Docka Fadera said. “It’s so sad that this horrific and tragic incident took so many lives, and left many people fighting for their lives.”

The US is home to a fledgling Gambian diaspora community with around 8,000 Gambians immigrants.

Fadera traveled from Washington, DC, to New York after learning of the fire, which he says has devastated a close-knit community not only in New York but in West Africa as well.

“Gambia is a very small country, 2 million people. Everybody knows everybody. We are all related. It’s a shock in our country right now,” the Gambian diplomat said.

Fadera told CNN he was heading to the hospital to speak with victims of the blaze. He said he is still working with city officials to determine exactly how many Gambians were affected — but there’s no doubt, he says, that the fire has devastated the community.

Fadera said he’s spoken with Gambians who lived in the building and were able to escape.

“They have horrific stories,” he said. “It was very sad… I have never seen this in my life. This is so tragic. It’s really so huge.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has described the inferno as one of the worst the city has experienced in modern times.


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