THE 17 victims in Sunday's fatal Bronx fire have now been identified as the first pictures show whole families and children among those killed.
Five members of one family and four in another were among the victims as the investigation continues into why automatic doors did not close properly to stop the smoke from spreading.
Eight children died in the blaze ranging between two and 12 years old.
Nine adults also died in the fire, the oldest being a 50-year-old mother.
On Tuesday, the medical examiner confirmed that all victims died from smoke inhalation as it began releasing bodies to funeral homes.
Haji Dukuray, 49; his wife, Haja Dukureh, 37; and their children, Mustapha Dukureh, 12; Mariam Dukureh, 12; and Fatoumata Dukureh, 5, all died in Sunday's fire.
An uncle told the New York Post that the family is originally from Gambia.
He added that it is unsure if they will be buried in the African nation or in New York.
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Four members of the Drammeh family were also killed in the fire.
Dad Patriarch Ishak Drammeh, 50, was working in Ohio on Sunday and lost his wife Fatoumata, 50, and three of his children: Foutmala, 21, Muhammed, 12, and Nyumaaisha, 19.
A mother and son were among the other victims.
Fatoumata Tunkara, a 43-year-old mother of five, and her six-year-old son Omar Jambang were identified on a GoFundMe page raising funds for her surviving children.
Their remains are set to be sent back to her native Gambia, the Post reports.
Tijan Janneh said that he lost his daughter, in the fire after the family was separated.
Student Sera Janneh, 27, was reportedly fleeing the building but got trapped in the dark smoke. '
“Later on they just broke the news to us,” her father said. “My daughter is gone.”
Haouwa Mahamadou, 5, and Ousmane Konteh, 2, were the youngest victims in the blaze.
Eighth-grader Seydou Toure, 12, also perished in the tragedy.
Four children were orphaned after Hagi Jawara, 47, and his wife, 31-year-old Isatou Jabbie died in the fire.
The kids have reportedly not yet been told their parents fate, the Post reports.
[Jabbie] loved her kids to death,” Jawara’s brother, Yusupha 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],” he added.
“Then, as a family, we will sit down together and figure out what will happen next.”
'CLINGING TO THEIR LIVES'
A vigil was held for the victims of the high-rise blaze on Tuesday night as residents call for action.
The investigation into the fire is focusing on why the building filled so quickly with smoke as well as the failure of the automatic doors.
"When those doors don't close but the laws have been passed, we say where oh where is the penalty for those laws not being enacted and acted upon because we have passed them in the council," City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams said.
The fire started on the third-floor duplex of the Twin Parks Towers North West in Trenton.
About 200 firefighters battled the fire-alarm blaze just before 11am on Sunday.
As well as the 17 killed, at least 44 others were injured with 13 of them said to be "clinging to their lives" in nearby hospitals.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro warned that the death toll may rise as some of the victims remain critically injured.
Ten children still remain in the hospital.
The original death toll was given as 19 but revised on Monday as a result of a double count in two cases.
MALFUNCTIONING SPACE HEATER
Negro confirmed that the fire was started by a malfunctioning electric space heater that set a mattress on fire.
FDNY sources told ABC7NY that the space heater in the apartment and been left on for days and there were others running in the apartment at the same time.
While the fire department managed to contain the fire to the second and third floors and the adjacent hallway in the duplex, the smoke from the fire spread to other parts of the building.
Nigro called the fire one of the worst blazes in the city in recent memory.
"The smoke conditions in this building are unprecedented," he added.
Resident Winter Thomas described seeing children jumping out the windows and people screaming after the devastating fire broke out.
The woman said she looked out her window and saw flames and black smoke coming up while she described seeing people trying to escape by leaping from the building.
She said: "It was very, very devastating.
"I've seen kids, very young kids jumping out the windows, people screaming, 'Help, help me please, I'm burning'."
"It was just something you don't see in real life, it was something like out of a movie."
Firefighters were among those hurt in a horrific fire after responding while short-staffed due to the Omicron surge in New York City, according to officials.
Adams said the firefighters’ oxygen tanks were empty but “they still pushed through the smoke.”
In a tweet, Gov. Kathy Hochul said she was "horrified by the devastating fire." She joined Adams and others at the press conference where she says she met with a mother who lost her entire family to the blaze.
"We will not forget you. We will not abandon you. We are here for you," Hochul said, adding that she will be establishing a victim's compensation fund to help those impacted by the fire.
“Your elected leaders, from your Senator Schumer on down to our council members, are united here to support this community to say tonight is a night of tragedy and pain, and tomorrow, we begin to rebuild," she said.
"We rebuild their lives and give them hope."
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