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Fire Update: Elected Officials Reach Out to Displaced Tenants

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Tomorrow evening, elected officials and representatives from NYC agencies will meet with residents who were displaced by Sunday night’s fire on Grand Street. It will be a chance for tenants of 283 and 285 Grand street to ask questions and resolve any concerns they have about transitioning from emergency housing (in a midtown hotel) to short-term housing elsewhere in the city. The meeting will take place at the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, 62 Mott Street, at 5:30pm.

The officials are also urging anyone who might have left the scene Sunday night without getting help to contact the American Red Cross for assistance. Their number is 877-733-2767. “Please be assured,” they said in a statement released today, “that everyone, regardless of immigration status is afforded these emergency services and (is) protected… and that you should have no concerns about immigration status in regards to receiving services.” The American Red Cross has already provided temporary emergency housing to 120 adults and 19 children who were affected by the fire.

On Grand Street today, city workers were on the look-out for residents and small business owners who might not have already contacted them. The block between Eldridge and Chrystie is completely shuttered, and many surrounding businesses have been hard hit this week, as well. The staff at a Chinese restaurant at the corner of Eldridge and Grand said business was down by 90-percent.

Meanwhile, the Fire Department is still working on determining the cause of the blaze, the first 7 alarm fire in New York City since 2007. It appears investigators will not be able to go into the buildings to search for clues until the top floors are removed. Demolition is expected to take at least a couple of weeks.

Many organizations have stepped forward to help the fire victims, including the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, University Settlement, MFY Legal Services, Asian Americans for Equality and the Chinatown Partnership.  They’re coordinating with multiple city agencies, as well as the offices of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Comptroller John Liu, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Councilmember Margaret Chin.

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