New York Governor Meets With Families of 10 Who Died in Apartment Fire

Relatives of the 10 people who died in last week's devastating Bronx fire met privately with Gov. Eliot Spitzer on Sunday.

The governor met with the relatives at the Islamic Cultural Center in the Bronx, then spoke to worshippers, pledging that the state would help the families with housing and employment.

Afterward, he told reporters the families were "rightly inconsolable." Although there's little he could do to ease the grief, "we will do what we can in a material sense," he said.

Wednesday's blaze swept through a three-story building occupied by 22 people, 17 of whom were children. All were from Mali or traced their ancestry to the west African nation.

Mali's foreign minister, Moctar Ouane, also was on hand Sunday and thanked New Yorkers.

"The people of Mali are deeply touched by the gestures of solidarity and compassion," he said.

Cab driver Mamadou Soumare lost all four of his children in the fire, along with his wife. Manthia and Moussa Magassa lost five children.

The Magassas' 6-year-old daughter, Kadiatou, was upgraded Sunday from critical to stable condition at Jacobi Medical Center but remained in intensive care, hospital spokeswoman Hannah Nelson said.

The blaze, which investigators believe was caused by an overheated space heater, was New York City's deadliest since the 1990 Happy Land nightclub fire that killed 87 people in the Bronx.

A funeral service for the victims was set for Monday, with burial of the Magassa children to follow in a Muslim cemetery in New Jersey. The Soumare family members are to be flown to Mali for burial.

Photo Essay: 3-Alarm Blaze Kills 10 in New York City