Tuesday, January 2, 2024
Year : 1, Issue : 18
Queens apartment building fire, hundreds of tenants still don’t have a place to stay.
Nearly two weeks after a fire ripped through a Queens apartment building, hundreds of tenants are still without a permanent place to stay, and now they’re facing an approaching deadline to decide where they’ll go. For Judson and Christa Kimlicko Jones, it’s difficult to look at what’s left of home — a charred and boarded-up building on 47th Avenue in Sunnyside. “Numb. Confused. Lost,” Kimlicko Jones said.
They’re among more than 400 people displaced after flames engulfed their apartment building just days before Christmas. Violations were issued to a contractor. Fire officials say an illegal blow torch he was using ignited the blaze.
The landlord, A&E Management, has offered hotels for the short-term. Tenants pushed for an extension and now have until Jan. 5 to weigh limited options for where to go next.
“They offered us a place — well, not offered. They told us where’s where you’re going to go, a place in East Harlem. And we’re like, that’s too far away,” Judson Jones said.
In a statement, the building management company told us in part, “…with so few vacant apartments in western Queens, most of the options we can provide are further [sic] from home.”
Read more: Victims of Sunnyside, Queens apartment building fire struggling to come to grips with losing everything. Days after help from the city and Red Cross expired, a GoFundMe is raising money to support the victims.
“There are tenants that have insurance, and then there are tenants that don’t, like myself,” displaced tenant Melissa Orlando said. Orlando argues this should have been prevented. As a new year begins, so does a search for a place to call home. For the displaced tenants, a question remains: who will provide the oversight to prevent fires like this from happening in 2024?
Source: CBS News