Bronx community mourns Twin Parks fire victims one year later

Monday marked one year since the Twin Parks fire in the Bronx that left 17 people dead and many more injured and displaced.

Members of the community came together Monday to remember the lives lost, with services and a street re-naming in honor of one of the 8 children who died in the fire.

Many of the victims, who ranged in age from 2 to 50, were immigrants from West Africa and part of a closely-knit community that took root in the building. 

FDNY officials said the fire began when a space heater caught fire and spread because self-closing doors that were supposed to stay shut to contain smoke and fire did not work properly. 

A square in front of the building was renamed 17 Abdoili Touray Way, in honor of a pioneering Gambian community leader and the 17 victims. 

"We need to make sure that a similar tragedy never happens again, not in the Bronx, not anywhere in the city of New York," said Osvaldo Feliz, a New York City Council member.

Feliz said that the determination for such a tragedy to never happen again has resulted in city, state, and federal lawmakers working together to strengthen housing laws and make sure buildings are safe for families. 

A number of the victims' families have filed lawsuits against various entities and others have returned to the Gambia.