Harlem fire claims one life and displaces multiple residents

Mocobizscene- Nearly a week has passed since a destructive fire ripped through 2 St. Nicholas Place, leaving residents to deal with the aftermath. The fire, which was sparked by a lithium-ion battery, tragically resulted in the loss of journalist Fazil Khan’s life and caused injuries to 17 individuals. At the same time, numerous residents find themselves displaced, facing the challenges of finding temporary accommodations. As they try to navigate this difficult situation, some express their frustration.

Robert Henry, a long-term tenant at the apartment for over 20 years, expressed his frustration about the fire incident, stating, “From hotel to hotel, and I got this dog, and they don’t know when the vacate is going to be up.”

“They sent us to a hotel, I stayed on 124th. And after checking out, I had to go to the Red Cross – and they directed me to Chinatown. And now, after checking out today, I completed some paperwork and they’re arranging for me to go to a shelter,” he explained.

The fire, which broke out last Friday, sparked a rapid response from the FDNY, who carried out a daring rope rescue. The Department of Buildings issued a complete evacuation order for the building but determined that there was no structural harm. They noted extensive fire-related destruction, such as charred beams, compromised walls, and broken windows.

The American Red Cross offered emergency aid to 30 households, which included 59 adults, 12 children, and 11 pets. In the meantime, Columbia University organized a memorial to pay tribute to Fazil Khan, recognizing his remarkable work as a journalist who focused on addressing education inequality.

“I quickly sprang onto the fire escape ladder, my heart racing with adrenaline. With each step, I climbed higher, determined to reach my dog who was trapped inside. Without hesitation, I shattered the window nearby, creating an opening for both of us to escape. With my loyal companion resting securely on my shoulder, I carefully descended the ladder, relieved to have rescued him from danger,” Henry passionately shared, recounting the heroic tale of saving his beloved dog.

Henry is now worried about whether the shelter he is being moved to will allow him to keep his dog with him.

If you are a resident in need of answers or support, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development has provided a helpline for emergency housing. You can reach out to them at 212-836-7660 to find the assistance you require.

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MBS Staff
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