Elmhurst Apartment Fire Relief
News | April 18, 2017 by Northeast Region
On the evening of April 11, 2017, an extra-alarm fire erupted on the top floor of an apartment building at 56-11 94th Street, between 56th and 57th avenues in Elmhurst, New York. The blaze necessitated the urgent action of 200 firefighters, forced 400 residents from their homes, and severely damaged approximately 112 units. Many residents, left at a loss with only the clothes on their backs, gathered at Public School 13 in Queens for shelter. Responding quickly, our volunteers arrived at the shelter to offer compassionate relief.
April 16, 2017
On April 16th, six days after the massive fire tore through the top floor an apartment building in Elmhurst, Queens, displacing many of its residents, our relief volunteers continue to provide aid to those affected.
The blaze left some with nothing more than the clothes they were wearing a the time, making this financial assistance an imperative aspect of recovery. Knowing that emotional support after a calamity is equally vital, volunteers offered their compassion, attentive ears, and sang and danced together with care recipients at our Flushing office, to lighten the heavy spirits of those who are struggling.
A total of $17,000 in assistance was given to 54 individuals, as well as warm blankets and warmer smiles! We plan to have another disaster aid distribution this coming Sunday, hoping to offer more support.
"It's the first time in my life that I'm in this type of situation, that I need to receive some help. And, that's amazing, people that I don't know, people are giving me support, help, money! I have no words."
-Sandra Ochoa, care recipient
April 13, 2017
Continuing relief consecutively for a second day on site at the PS 13Q shelter, our volunteers personally cooked and distributed more than 250 hot vegetarian lunch boxes to families affected by Tuesday’s calamitous fire. They also began registering displaced individuals and families in order to provide them with further assistance, and aided 58 people through the process. We hope that our relief volunteers are able to provide a balm to the suffering of those affected by the blaze, who have now lost so much. This fire has left dozens of families without a home to return to, and they are still very much in need of assistance. To help guide displaced residents in this trying time, our relief volunteers plan to host a cash card distribution at the Tzu Chi NY office in Flushing on April 16.
April 12, 2017
After the previous evening’s blistering fire devoured an entire floor of a 7-story Elmhurst apartment building, leaving many with nowhere to go, our relief volunteers assembled at PS 13Q, where affected residents had gathered for shelter. Also working with the American Red Cross, our two teams worked in shifts to provide food, beverages, medical attention, as well as much-needed emotional support for those whose homes had been lost to the fire.
With the confusion of what they had just experienced, and all that had been lost in what would seem like the blink of an eye, displaced residents were understandably shaken, and at a loss for their next move. We hope that our relief volunteers are able to provide further aid in the coming days.
Follow Tzu Chi New York for frequent updates on our relief efforts.