2001-05-19 / Front Page

3-Alarm Fire Displaces Local Residents

3-Alarm Fire Displaces Local Residents

By Aaron Zeidman

On Monday, May 14, a three-alarm fire occurred in two buildings located at 88 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard.

From about 9:30 in the morning to 2:00 in the afternoon, firefighters from 25 units battled the blaze that has left 13 adults, 7 children, and one local business temporarily without a home.

The preliminary report by fire investigators suggests that the fire was started by rubbish that had accumulated in the light shaft that passes through the building.

"People had been throwing garbage out of the window and it was collecting in the shaft. Windows open onto the shaft, and most likely the fire entered the building through these windows," said one department official.

According to the report, everyone living in these buildings has been displaced, and it will be at least a month before the corner building can be inhabited again. The roof in the middle building is beyond repair, and it is still uncertain whether the building will be rebuilt or knocked down.

Five Red Cross staff members and volunteers were at the scene to assist the displaced residents. The Red Cross provided vouchers for clothing, provisions for food, and referrals to other agencies that assist victims of fire and other disasters. Eight adults and 16 children were also provided with temporary housing by the Red Cross.

No one was injured in the blaze.

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