Former residents of the Twin Parks North West apartment building are still picking up the pieces after an unspeakable tragedy shook up the Bronx.
Less than ten days into the new year, a malfunctioning space heater reportedly burst into flames and caused smoke to spread throughout the building. As residents of the apartment building attempted to escape the fire, the Associated Press reports that some safety doors did not operate properly and several people began to succumb to smoke inhalation. Ultimately, 17 people, including eight children, were pronounced dead as New York Firefighters attempted to gain control of the situation.
In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, the apartment’s former residents Rosa Reyes and Felix Martinez filed a $3 billion lawsuit against the building’s owners. According to court documents, the couple accuses the building’s owners of failing to provide functioning smoke detectors and safe fire escapes. Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, the state of New York launched a $2 million fund for those impacted by the fire. However, many say that the state’s efforts are not enough.
Stepping into help, Bronx native Cardi B has offered to cover the funeral costs of those who did not survive the fire. In a brief statement, the Grammy winner said that she felt compelled to help after learning about what happened in her hometown.
“I’m extremely proud to be from the Bronx and I have lots of family and friends who live and work there still,” she told CNN.
“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. I send my prayers and condolences to everyone affected by this horrific tragedy.”