You are reading

Jackson Heights Community Joins Together to Support 250 People Displaced by 8-Alarm Fire

An eight-alarm fire tore through a Jackson Heights apartment building Tuesday night, leaving more than 100 families without a home (FDNY)

April 7, 2021 By Allie Griffin

An eight-alarm fire that tore through a Jackson Heights apartment building Tuesday night has left hundreds homeless and resulted in 25 people being injured.

The fire started inside an apartment located at 89-07 34th Ave. shortly after 1 p.m. and quickly spread throughout the building. By 8 p.m., it had been upgraded to an eight alarm blaze, with more than 350 firefighters and EMS personnel at the scene.

Firefighters were finally able to get the fire under control at 12:07 a.m., but the flames damaged the majority of the 133-unit building, a FDNY spokesperson said.

“It took the department eight alarms and almost 12 hours to place the fire under control, working inside [and] outside, causing many injuries to our members and some injuries to civilians,” FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said at the scene this morning.

In total, 19 firefighters and six civilians were injured. None of the injuries were life-threatening, the spokesperson said.

The flames spread throughout the building since the occupants of the apartment where the fire started left their front door open. Furthermore, they waited 10 minutes before calling 911, Nigro said.

The apartment was on the top floor of the six-story building.

“Thankfully, this fire was on the top floor,” Nigro said. “Had this fire been lower in the building, it could have had a terrible result in loss of life with that door being left open.”

Nigro said that fire marshals have been unable to enter the building yet to conduct an investigation into the cause of the fire, but it is not believed to be suspicious.

Jackson Heights community members are now organizing efforts to help the 130 families — more than 400 people in total, according to organizers — who lived in the building and have been displaced.

A GoFundMe page was set up for the families by one of the organizers of a local LGBTQ-run food pantry called “Love Wins” and it has raised more than $100,000 in just 13 hours.

“A community made up of majority low-income, working class, immigrant essential workers, already experiencing the aftermath of COVID-19 are now without their homes,” Daniel Puerto wrote in the description of the GoFundMe.

“It’s hard to express the deep sadness we felt tonight as we looked into our neighbors eyes and asked how we could help,” Puerto added.

The fundraiser aims to raise $250,000 for the families displaced in the fire. Shortly after 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, roughly 1,100 people have collectively donated more than $105,000.

The Red Cross has been helping the displaced families by providing them hotel rooms.

Neighbors are also collecting donations for the affected residents from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Southridge Courtyard, located at 33-45 90th St. They are asking people to donate items like PPE, hand sanitizer, toiletries, diapers, baby bottles and formula, feminine hygiene products, blankets, pillows, phone chargers, pet food, water and food.

Supporters of the 34th Avenue Open Street as well as numerous local mutual aid groups and individual neighbors have all stepped up to help the victims of the fire.

Families affected by the fire can call the Red Cross hotline at 1-877-733-2767 for assistance. The hotline operators can help people with finding temporary shelter, as well as mental health support, financial assistance and health services.

email the author: [email protected]

2 Comments

Click for Comments 
Their house burned down

The community came together to help 130 families that were suddenly homeless. How can Republicans be SO offended by this?!

2
1
Reply
Joe

More handouts. Government handouts aren’t enough, now I have to give more. Why can’t people get insurance. I prepare myself for any emergency and never take handouts. Why can’t these people.

1
2
Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946-50 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.