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Minister Johnson Smith confirms Jamaicans amongst casualties of Bronx fire, expresses condolences to families affected

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Jamaica’s Foreign Minister today, (Saturday, December 30) confirms that four persons of Jamaican descent are included amongst the fatalities of the fire that gutted an apartment complex in the Bronx, New York on Thursday.


“Further to my statement issued yesterday, I now wish to confirm that the Office of Foreign Missions (OFM) in New York, informed our Consulate General in New York that four persons, who are naturalized US citizens, of Jamaican descent, were among the 12 fatal victims of the tragic fire which took place in the Bronx, New York.
We have also confirmed that their names and ages are Mrs Katherine Stewart-Francis, 37 years old; Charmela Francis, 7 years old; Kylie Francis, 2 years old and Shantay Young, 19 years old,” says the Minister. 


While there have been some reports that 27 year old Mr. Holt Francis, spouse of Mrs. Stewart-Francis and father of the two young children, succumbed to injuries sustained during the fire,  the Minister notes that as at midday today  the family indicated that Mr. Francis remained in a critical condition and  agreed to provide an update on his medical status as soon as the information becomes available.


Minister Johnson Smith advises that the Ministry has been in contact with and expressed condolences to  the grief-stricken mother of the 7 year old, who is in Jamaica. Jamaica’s Consul-General to New York, Trudy Deans, has also spoken with Mrs. Stewart-Francis' mother, who was treated for smoke inhalation and released from hospital.  "Our Consul General conveyed deepest condolences on behalf of the Prime Minister and myself  and assurances of the  prayers and sympathies of the people of Jamaica at the family’s  tragic loss.

Minister Johnson Smith further states, "We are mindful of the shock and impact this terrible news is having on the families and friends of both Jamaican and non-Jamaican victims of the fire.  In this regard, we again express our sincere condolences at this difficult time and offer our prayers to the grieving family members both here and in the United States.”

Ann-Margaret Lim: 499-0625