Cardi B will pay the funeral expenses for victims of the deadly Bronx fire, the New York City Mayor’s office announced Wednesday. Seventeen people, including , were killed after the fire ripped through a residential apartment complex in early January.
“I’m extremely proud to be from the Bronx and I have lots of family and friends who live and work there still. So, when I heard about the fire and all of the victims, I knew I needed to do something to help,” the rapper, born Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, said in a statement from the mayor’s office. “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.”
Many of the victims appeared to be immigrants from the Gambia. The statement said Almánzar has also committed to paying repatriation expenses for victims who will be buried there.
The fire is one of the worst blazes in New York history. Officials said the fire began with a malfunctioning space heater being used in a duplex on the second and third floors of the building. The apartment door didn’t close when the residents fled, which allowed the fire to spread throughout the rest of the complex. Fire officials are still investigating why the door didn’t close on its own, which is required by city law.
“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,” Mayor Eric Adams said in the statement. “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.”
The city’s Bronx Fire Relief Fund has already raised over $2.5 million for victims of the blaze, the statement said.