Fires continue to plague Community Board 11, as the second fire in January displaces families from their home.
According to reports from the fire department, the Sunday, January 18 fire began at 1740 Holland Avenue on Sunday, January 18, at 2:38 p.m. The fire spread through the ground floor of the 3-story structure, including a clothing store, but was brought under control by 3:29 p.m., with Engine 90 and Ladder 41 the first to respond.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation, and no injuries were sustained, but residents of the building, including a second floor tenant and her seven children were vacated from their home.
“It is this time of year when electrical fires become more common with the space heaters during the winter months,” said Joe Bombace, member of CB 11. “This fire is a tragedy any way you look at it.”
This is the second fire this month in the neighborhood. The two alarm fire occurred on Saturday, January 3, at 728 Van Buren Avenue.
The community gathered together to help the victims of the Van Buren fire, whose homes were completely destroyed. Residents such as 8th grade Sandra Huerta had to reside in the fire-damaged rubble while families searched for a new home.
“It’s really bad. The living room is completely burned and so is the kitchen, and we have to move now,” said Huerta, a student at Aspire Preparatory School, located 2441 Wallace Avenue.
The school took up a collection, led by Irene Rukaj and staff, to help their fellow classmate and her family, and asks anyone wishing to donate items to deliver then to the school’s office.
“We are going to take care of Sandra and her family. People in crisis tend to be humble and don’t know who to ask for help,” said Rukaj. “Instead we are asking people to help, this is a disaster that could happen to anybody, and every little bit counts.”
Other support was found through St. Dominic’s Church, 1739 Unionport Road, for Van Buren fire victim and employee Lee D’Eletto and family. Additionally, the City Island community came together for a ‘fire shower’ to assist the victims of the 240 City Island Avenue fire, on Tuesday, January 6.