Manhattan Apartment Fire Night Before Thanksgiving – NBC New York

At least 35 people are homeless this Thanksgiving after a large fire ripped through an apartment building in the Inwood section of Manhattan Wednesday night.

Eighteen hours after the fire, residents still could not get back into their apartments as the Red Cross and community members help them with food, clothing and medicine – a full-fledged effort to support neighbors.

It was a Thanksgiving nightmare on Post Avenue in Inwood.

A witness describes the tense moments when 35 people were displaced from their homes.

“It went all the way up to the roof. It first came out on this page. That’s when I saw it,” Diego, a witness to the fire, told News 4 New York.

Orange flames lit up the sky just before midnight Wednesday, leading into the holiday.

“Neighbors came and started knocking on doors,” said resident and survivor Mayra Reyes. “We all gathered to get what we could save. It was not much.”

Reyes has lived in the neighborhood for 40 years, trying to process what happened after losing most of his family’s belongings.

A total of 198 firefighters worked to extinguish the flames.

FDNY says no injuries have been reported, but the fire spread to the top floor – six floors high to the ceiling and roof.

Firefighters say there was a fire in the same building earlier this year – a building that is under renovation.

People are now coming together to help their neighbors through this process on a day like Thanksgiving.

“I just feel sorry for the kids … parents who worked hard get these opportunities,” said Diego, a witness.

Despite losing her belongings, Reyes is grateful for this holiday.

“The most important thing is that I’m alive, that I have my child, my husband, that I have my friends,” Reyes said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation as FDNY remained at the scene more than 18 hours after the first call to ensure there were no hidden hot spots.

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