Red Cross helps families displaced by deadly Bronx fire, borough leaders set up task force to help survivors – CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNew York) – After Sunday’s deadly fire in the Bronx, the focus is on efforts to help survivors. Borough officials announced assistance and recovery programs for those affected and the mayor’s office created a fund.

Most of the people who escaped the fire spent the night in hotel rooms. Local leaders and politicians have set up a task force to connect survivors with emergency services and emotional support, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported Monday.

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The Red Cross transformed the Tapco school on Folin Street into an emergency center providing displaced families with food and supplies.

“I didn’t sleep. I was crying in my sleep. I was shaking,” said Tyesena Jacobs, who was hoping to enter her apartment on Monday to collect medicine.

Jacobs was overcome with grief at the sight of the shattered windows of her apartment building.

PICTURES: At the scene of a fatal fire in a Bronx building

“Maybe we would have died in there with the smoke,” Jacobs said. “It was really, really bad. It was really bad, I couldn’t take it anymore. I got down on my knees and started to pray to God: “God, please help us!

Jacobs said a firefighter suddenly appeared through the smoke and brought his family down into an elevator. She couldn’t help but think of those who weren’t making it.

“I feel so sorry for the people who have lost their children and their mothers, because we are all one, and for that to happen, it’s horrible,” Jacobs said.

LOOK: Update from Bronx officials on fire relief efforts

Around 11 a.m. on Sunday, Stéphane Beabogui asked his wife what was burning. She did not answer.

“I said, ‘No, something is burning.’ So when I opened the door, the hallway, I couldn’t even see where I was going. So I closed the door, about to pick up my wife, and we started to descend from the fourth floor to the top floor in the dark and with the smoke, ”Beabogui said.

READ MORE: Bronx skyscrapers fire: what to do if you’ve been hit and how to help survivors

The couple went to safety, then Beabogui heard people screaming inside.

“When I came out and people opened the window, they were screaming for help. At that time, the firefighters were there, ”he said.

Frantz Sannon frantically searched for his parents, 75 and 76, who lived on the fourth floor. He checked area hospitals before finding them at the Red Cross shelter down the block.

“Oh man, I’m just overwhelmed right now. I was thinking of the worst, ”he said.

The Good Samaritans arrived all morning to donate supplies.

“It’s very cold. A lot of families have lost their whole family, a lot of children are involved,” said one of them.

“We were dropping off clothes, jackets, boots, sneakers, baby food,” another said.

“People in need, we are there for them,” said another Good Samaritan.

Some tenants were able to collect their pets and essentials on Sunday evening. They boarded MTA buses to nearby hotels, where they stay indefinitely.

The Red Cross also has a family emergency site at Monroe College. It offers hot meals and other essentials from noon to 8 p.m. on Mondays.

New York City has set up a fund and a fundraising site.

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Click here for resources if you’ve been hit or want to help survivors.

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