NEW YORK FIRE TAKES TOLL ON LOCAL MALIAN COMMUNITY
NEW YORK (AP) - The city's Malian community was in mourning Thursday after a fire devastated a popular Bronx family's home and killed nine people - including eight children - who were from Mali or traced their roots there.
The fire, which began late Wednesday night, occurred while Moussa Magassa, the patriarch of the family and a well-known figure within the local immigrant group, was visiting the west African country on a business trip. He was soon flying back to deal with the heartbreaking loss of five of his 11 children, friends and officials said.
Officials with Mali's consulate in New York were reaching out to the relatives Thursday, as were Malian community leaders in New York and government officials in Mali. Also involved were local Islamic leaders, who were helping relatives prepare for funerals.