Cardi B is covering the funeral costs for the victims of the high-rise fire that killed 17 people in her native borough of the Bronx earlier this month. Let’s take a moment to commend another generous act from a Bronx hometown hero. Read more about why the rapper decided to give so graciously.
The rapper shared a statement on Wednesday (Jan. 19) through the NYC mayor’s office.
“I’m extremely proud to be from the Bronx and I have lots of family and friends who live and work there still,” the rapper shared in the statement. “So, when I heard about the fire and all of the victims, I knew I needed to do something to help.”
The city says the “partnership” with Cardi B will include the costs of ‘repatriation expenses for some victims buried in The Gambia,’ where many of the 19-story building’s residents are from.
“I cannot begin to imagine the pain and anguish that the families of the victims are experiencing,” the Grammy award winning artist continues. “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.”
According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average funeral in the US costs $7,848 per person. Cardi will be dishing out at least $133,416 to support the families.
The 17 victims ranged in age from two to 50 and died from smoke inhalation caused by a faulty space heater in a third-floor unit that investigators believe was left running uninterrupted for days.
Mayor Eric Adams commented on Cardi B’s efforts saying:
“We are grateful for Cardi B, a real superstar on and off the mic, for granting some critical financial relief to families of the victims. The city will be forever thankful to her and also to the grassroots donors and corporate partners who have been able to offer immediate support for our neighbors in need, to reestablish themselves during this difficult time.”
It has not been confirmed how much Cardi contributed but it will be added to the growing fund created by the city’s government office. The city already raised more than $2.5 million. The fund will provide tenants with case management services, personal property replacement, and relocation and rental assistance to help address critical household needs.
The rapper’s love for this community runs deep as she was raised in the Highbridge neighborhood and attended Herbert H. Lehman High School in the Bronx. She often references the borough in her music, like in her 2017 song “Bronx Season.”
Another Bronx native and beloved rapper Fat Joe also started a relief fund for those affected by the fire and has received contributions from Jay-Z and DJ Khaled.
“I need all my people worldwide to come together for the families devastated by the fire in the Bronx,” he shared on Instagram last week. “I’m donating and I’m asking everyone that has a Heart to donate. these people are mostly immigrants that have no where to go they lost everything. it’s 10 degrees in the Bronx today!”
City officials blamed a faulty space heater in a third-floor apartment for the fire, which spewed plumes of suffocating smoke that quickly rose through the stairwell of the 19-story building.
Fire officials also found that the entry door to the unit where the flames ignited failed to automatically close. Many residents said space heaters were sometimes needed to supplement the building’s heat and that repairs weren’t always timely.
All 17 victims of the horrific January 9 fire have since been named.
The deceased are: Fatoumata Drammeh, 50; Foutmala Drammeh, 21; Muhammed Drammeh, 12; Nyumaaisha Drammeh, 19; Haji Dukary, 49; Fatoumata Dukureh, five; Haja Dukureh, 37; Mariam Dukureh, 11; Mustapha Dukureh, 12; Omar Jambang, six; Sera Janneh, 27; Haouwa Mahamadou, five; Seydou Toure, 12; Fatoumata Tunkara, 43; Isatou Jabbie, 31; Hagi Jawara, 47; Ousmane Konteh, two.