By Gretchen Berger
City Council Member Shaun Abreu and Borough President Mark Levine are holding a donation drive for the victims of a fire that ripped through a six-story building at 617 West 141st Street (between Broadway and Riverside Drive), in Hamilton Heights, last Saturday, December 3rd, at around 1:30 am.
WSR felt it appropriate to support our nearby neighbors, who have been displaced right before the holiday season. Hamilton Heights is in the same City Council district as the northernmost sections of the Upper West Side — Manhattan Valley and Bloomingdale. We share a City Council Member: Shaun Abreu.
The widely reported five-alarm fire was investigated by the FDNY and deemed to be accidental, sparked by electrical wiring just under the building’s roof. It rapidly ripped through the building and totally destroyed seven apartments on the top floor, while many apartments below suffered extensive water damage. The entire building was evacuated in the middle of the night. The building and all its 42 units are still inaccessible to all residents, and have been since the fire department gained control and put out the flames. Fortunately, there were no deaths and only minor injuries.
The building won’t be habitable again for at least another year, according to CM Abreu’s office. The American Red Cross and city agencies have been placing the residents in temporary housing, some in a hotel in the Bronx. The city is looking for longer-term housing for the displaced, who number, at least, 109.
For now, people can drop off articles of clothing and personal items on weekdays from 8am-3pm at PS 192, 500 West 138th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam avenues. Officials are working on expanding sites and hours.
Clothing & Supplies Needed:
Clothing: (all sizes, especially for kids!)
Hat, scarves, gloves
Earth Best Toddler Formula
Baby Nasal Aspirator
Toys (Dolls, Barbie, Play-Doh)
School supplies (Coloring Books, Crayons, Markers, Pens, Notebooks, Sketchbooks)