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Community Chips in to Help Victims of Woodside Fire

Dec. 30, 2011 Staff Report

Twenty-five victims of a fatal fire that occurred in Woodside in November received about 3,000 donated items from the community.

The donations included diapers, food, cleaning products, clothing and toys. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer organized the campaign drive.

A 2-alarm blaze destroyed a 2-story house at 45-38 61st Street on Nov. 18 and significantly damaged the adjacent homes. The fire claimed the life of one victim, injured four others and forced a total of 25 people from three homes.

At this point, it is unknown whether the houses contained illegal dwelling units, although the NYFD is reviewing the matter. Van Bramer said that with 25 people in 3 houses, it’s too early to come to a conclusion as to whether the home owners/landlords were violating any regulations.

However, he did note that the Building Dept was cracking down on illegal housing units, which was a good thing.  However, Van Bramer said his immediate focus has been on the humanitarian side of the tragedy.

“In the wake of this tragic event, it is heartwarming to see the community’s response to support their neighbors. During this holiday season, these donations will give a little hope back to the families who lost so much in the fire,” Van Bramer said.

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