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A cab driver said Tuesday that his wife and four children are all in induced comas after the family’s apartment was inundated with smoke in Sunday’s Bronx blaze.
“It’s a miracle that my family is still here,” said Gambian-born Mohamed Kamra, 58.
His spouse, Fotoumatia Fofana, 30 and children Mariam, 8, Jabu, 6, Abubakary, 3, and Ceesay, just 10 months, are all on ventilators, unable to breath on their own, because of smoke inhalation.
“I thank Allah that my family made it, and I am hopeful with his continued blessing … they will make a full recovery,” the dad said.
Kamra was working in New Jersey two hours away Sunday when he got word that the apartment building was on fire. By the time he returned to The Bronx, his family had already been rescued from their 15th-floor home by the FDNY and transported to the hospitals — Jabu and her mother to St Barnabas, then Cornell, and the other three children to Jacobi.
Kamra went to Jacobi, where he found three of his children but not his wife and one of his daughters.
“I was frantic when I could not find my wife and Jabu,” he said.
Eventually he was able to locate the two.
Now he spends his days shuffling between the hospitals to keep vigil at his family’s bedsides.
“I am doing OK, taking it day by day,” he said, and “hopeful” about the progress his family is showing.
His wife, Fotoumatia, is taking more time to heal, which the cabby thinks is because she was more badly injured trying to save their four children.
“I believe she was carrying two and the other two could walk on their own,” Kamra said. “I know she would put them first, she would take care of them before she takes care of herself, even if it risks her life. She would give her life for them, as I would.”
The father is able to communicate with his daughter Jabu from her hospital bed.
“Jabu moves her head up and down when you ask her questions. I said to her, ‘Jabu, I love you. Do you love Daddy?’ And she will shake her head.”
Mariam and one of her brothers, Abubakary, are specials-needs children. Christina Kharem, a social worker on the support team at Mariam’s school, set up a GoFundMe for the family.
“Mariam is a beautiful and happy child. She has grown so much since she came to our school, and we are so grateful and hopeful she will be OK,” Kharem told the Post.
Meanwhile, the dad Kamra said heating has been a problem in the building — where authorities believe a space heater sparked the blaze that killed 17.
“Sometimes there’s heat, and sometimes there’s none. Sometimes some of the rooms are hot, and some are cold,” he said.
“It has been very cold out, and it’s understandable to keep your family warm people will use space heaters,” he said.
The cab driver hasn’t been allowed back in the building and said he’s now suffering financially.
“I can’t go to work. I’m going from one hospital to another taking care of my family,” he said.