A college sophomore killed in closing weekend’s tragic Bronx fireside tried to flee the blaze alongside together with her family — nevertheless got separated from them in the smoke and flames and in no way made it out, her heartbroken father recalled Wednesday.
Tijan Janneh acknowledged he overlooked his daughter, Sera, as a result of the blazing setting up’s lights went out — and though he went once more to the apartment to seek for her, he would in no way see her alive as soon as extra.
“We have been all collectively and all of us, about six of us, tried to flee collectively,” Janneh, 61, recalled. “When there was fireplace, we went to the fourth flooring and the darkish smoke was in every single place. The entire constructing’s lights had gone off. We couldn’t see one another, so we have been break up up.”
Janneh acknowledged he couldn’t see one thing, so he gripped a wall and climbed once more to the family’s sixth-floor apartment.
“Sera was left behind,” Janneh acknowledged. “Ultimately, I used to be again on the condominium; it was so arduous to breathe. And the fireman got here and got us out. He mentioned all my youngsters have been out and all high-quality.”
However that wasn’t the case, Janneh would later be taught, as firefighters instructed him that one amongst his daughters had died in the blaze. Sera’s sister, Isatou Janneh, 18, remained in essential scenario at a hospital Wednesday, nonetheless stopping the affect of inhaling the thick smoke, he acknowledged.
“She has smoke inhalation,” Janneh acknowledged. “Once I went to hospital, she was respiration with the assistance of the machine.”
Twenty-seven-year-old Sera’s physique was discovered by firefighters in a hallway of the setting up, the place 17 of us died, her father acknowledged. He remembered her Wednesday as someone nicely preferred by virtually everyone she met, a form soul who wanted to make of us close to her actually really feel beloved.
“She was very sort, respectful, very humble and hard-working,” Janneh acknowledged. “She went to work on a regular basis and was good in school. She had no issues. She was all the time serving to and caring.”
Sera, a sophomore who studied psychology at Lehman College, hoped to show right into a social worker, her best pal of larger than a decade instructed The Submit.
“I’m nonetheless processing it,” Breanna Elleston, 27, instructed The Submit of Sera’s tragic demise. “Even final evening, I had a dream that she referred to as me and I answered it and I mentioned, ‘I believed you have been gone.’ She mentioned, ‘No,’ and I used to be actually relieved.”
In Elleston’s dream, the pair “ended up assembly up” to solely sit spherical and communicate, she acknowledged — exactly what Sera beloved to do most.
“And I awoke feeling a bit bit higher,” acknowledged Elleston, of Brooklyn. “After that dream, I felt a bit bit comforted even thought I woke as much as actuality.”
However the ache of Sera’s absence continues to be searing, Elleston acknowledged.
“She was my greatest buddy, I used to be her greatest buddy,” she continued. “We actually loved going to live shows and music festivals collectively and we additionally actually preferred touring collectively.”
The pair had gone to Atlanta and Los Angeles, the place they made some “actually nice reminiscences” collectively, in addition to the annual Afropunk music competitors in 2015. D’Angelo and totally different soul artists have been Sera’s favorite, although she “was obsessed” with singer Chris Brown in highschool, Elleston acknowledged.
However what Sera really liked doing most was merely connecting with someone.
“She actually, actually liked to take a seat round and have a drink and simply have a dialog, deep discussions about what’s occurring in the world,” Elleston acknowledged. “She was very invested in attending to know individuals in basic.”
Strangers and friends alike felt Sera’s “comforting power” anytime they’ve been in her presence, Elleston acknowledged.
“You felt secure round her, you felt like she was reliable,” Elleston acknowledged. “She was a really, very optimistic particular person, very uplifting. She was my cheerleader, all the time rooting me on.”
Sera and Elleston had been tight since assembly in 2009 whereas they attended the Excessive College for Well being Professions and Human Companies in Manhattan. The shut bond solely grew in ensuing years, with Sera coming to Elleston’s aide when a fire displaced her from her Brooklyn dwelling closing summer time season.
“She helped me out emotionally,” Elleston recalled. “At occasions once I wished to isolate myself, she would push me to exit and go do one thing enjoyable. She was all the time capable of make me giggle — and never simply giggle, however these deep stomach laughs. She was very humorous.”
Sera was moreover fastidiously involved with the Gambian Youth Group, a Bronx-based nonprofit focused on setting up future group leaders the place she helped handle its Ms. Gambia pageant.
“She was a really selfless particular person, simply overly beneficiant and all the time wanting the perfect for individuals whereas leaving herself out alongside the way in which,” acknowledged Elleston, who works as a behavioral therapist. “She liked to present to individuals. That was her love language. She liked giving, she all the time informed me that.”
In an announcement to The Submit early Wednesday, Lehman College officers confirmed Sera was enrolled when she died of smoke inhalation along with 16 others from Sunday’s blaze at 333 E. 181st St.
“A number of extra Lehman college students checklist the Twin Parks tower as their deal with and we’re working to verify that they’re secure,” the assertion be taught. “Our deepest condolences to the Janneh family and all of those that have misplaced mates and family members in Sunday’s fireplace. Our hearts are amongst these mourning in the Bronx at the moment.”
Sera’s older sister, Mareama Janneh, 31, broke the data to Elleston Monday that Sera was among the many many victims of the blaze on the 19-story setting up believed to have been sparked by a malfunctioning heater in a duplex on its third floor.
“I simply broke down, crying,” acknowledged Elleston, who was planning to position up fliers in search of her best pal. “I had a nasty feeling, however as soon as it was confirmed to me, I actually broke down.”
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