Saturday, December 5, 2020

Statement from City Councilmember Carlina Rivera on this morning's fire on 2nd Avenue

Local City Councilmember Carlina Rivera released this statement about this morning's fire on Seventh Street and Second Avenue ... which provides more details on damage to surrounding buildings:
Today, the East Village community is devastated and heartbroken at learning of the six-alarm fire that damaged or destroyed at least three buildings along 2nd Avenue between East 7th and East 6th Streets. 

Two of the buildings — Middle Collegiate Church, which appears to have been devastated, and the Women's Prison Association (WPA)'s Hopper House, which received smoke damage and other possible effects — are pillars of our community. We do not know the cause of the fire, which remains under active investigation. 

We hold the firefighters who were injured in the blaze in our thoughts, and I want to thank all the first responders who risked their lives to extinguish this fire. While I am thankful that no deaths have been reported, my heart is so very broken for the victims of this tragedy, who have been generational leaders in our community for social justice and equality.

My office is working closely with the FDNY, OEM, NYPD, DOB, and all other relevant agencies as they continue to assess the damage to 47 E. 7th St. (which was vacated earlier this year), Middle Collegiate Church, and the Hopper House. I promise that we will ensure this incident is investigated thoroughly.
We are also working to ensure that the 22 women who were residing at the Hopper House, and had to evacuate to WPA’s nearby family shelter, are provided with stable housing options and support. Donations to Middle Collegiate Church and WPA can be made at and, respectively.  

Middle Collegiate Church is one of the great, landmark institutions of our community, having served the New York City for almost 400 years and for over a century providing the East Village with spiritual and physical resources. They've taken care of so many during our City's darkest moments, from 9/11, to Superstorm Sandy, to the 2nd Avenue Explosion

And the Women’s Prison Association has provided housing, employment, and assistance for justice involved women for generations. The damage this fire has caused goes far beyond the structural effects alone.

But we know that our East Village community is strong and we will be there beside them every step of this recovery, however we can. As we begin this difficult work, I am inspired by the words of Middle Collegiate Church's Rev. Jacqui Lewis — someone who I’ve considered a close friend and adviser for many years — when she said this morning that "no fire can stop Revolutionary Love." I will take that spirit into my heart in the coming days and weeks as we continue our response and recovery.
Photo credit: FDNY Response Videos

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