Grand Concourse blaze displaces families

Grand Concourse blaze displaces families
A six-story apartment building at 2075 Grand Concourse bears the scars of last week’s three-alarm fire.
Photo by Silvio Pacifico

The third major fire to strike Community Board 5 in over a month has left many families homeless.

According to a FDNY spokesman, on Tuesday, January 12 at 5:44 a.m., a three-alarm fire was raging at 2075 Grand Concourse resulting in over 33 FDNY units and 138 firefighters dispatched to the scene.

The blaze, which tore through the six-story apartment building, was brought under control over by 7:26 a.m.

When the smoke cleared, the late night/early morning fire had rendered many of the units uninhabitable.

The FDNY reported two civilians sustained injuries, one of whom refused medical treatment. The other was transported to Bronx Lebanon Hospital for treatment. There were no fatalities.

Fire marshals determined the cause as an accidental electrical fire that started inside the ceiling of Anny Deli and Grocery located on the building’s ground floor.

Michael de Vulpillieres, American Red Cross Greater NY Region communications officer, said several Red Cross teams were dispatched to scene to aid the 14 displaced families consisting of 32 adults and ten children.

In addition to food, blankets and other relief items, 11 Red Cross responders provided the victims with temporary housing at local hotels and emergency funds to help them get through the next few days.

“Losing your home is an extremely traumatic incident and it isn’t easy for anyone,” said de Vulpillieres. “The American Red Cross is here to let these victims know that they are not alone and we will help them get back up on their feet following this tragedy.”

A New York City Emergency Management Department spokesman confirmed that New York City Housing Preservation and Development Department are now working with the families on how to best match their long-term living needs.

A HPD spokeswoman stated five households consisting of 12 adults and five children accepted HPD shelter while two households composed of three adults declined.

Xavier Rodriguez, CB 5 district manager, said that the fire marks the third major blaze to have occurred in the district.

A five-alarm fire at 1750 Montgomery Avenue on November 30 and a six-alarm structural fire at 2086 Valentine Avenue on December 10 previously struck within the community board, he said.

The Montgomery Avenue blaze resulted in 22 families displaced and the destruction of the six-story apartment’s 23 out of 66 units.

A worker who used a blowtorch to make rooftop repairs on 1750 Montgomery Avenue was arrested in connection with this fire, FDNY confirmed.

Last month’s Valentine Avenue fire left 29 families displaced and resulted in significant damage to nine townhouses as it spread from 2086 Valentine Avenue to eight nearby three-story residences.

The FDNY blamed that incident on the careless disposal of a cigarette.

“Last Tuesday’s fire was the largest our district has witnessed and it is nothing short of tragic,” said Rodriguez. “As the situation stands now, none of these residents can go home any time soon.”

CB 5 has been in contact with HPD and the board is working on getting in touch with the victims to help provide them with additional assistance.

“My office has been in contact with the Red Cross and local organizations to see if there is any assistance or support our office can provide during this difficult time,” said Senator Gustavo Rivera.

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