Saturday, March 26, 2022

Remembering Nicholas Figueroa and Moises Locón

Today marks the seventh anniversary of the deadly Second Avenue gas explosion, killing two men and leveling three buildings (119, 121 and 123 Second Ave.).

There is a memorial plaque for the two men who died that day — Nicholas Figueroa and Moises Locón.

Officials dedicated this plaque last MayThe Village Preservation advocated for its placement here on the new residential building at 45 E. Seventh St. 

Previously on EV Grieve


Giovanni said...

Seven years? This tragic event seems like it was yesterday, but also due to the pandemic, it feels like 7 decades ago. So much has changed, and parts of this city are unrecognizable. Things seem to move slowly, then all at once, they change. But I can still smell the acrid smoke in the air that day, hear the fire engines. I still miss Pomme Frites on a sunny Friday afternoon, and all the other places we have lost over the years like Gem Spa, Neptune Diner, Haveli ,DeRobertis, Jules, and Dojo.

Meanwhile, landlord Maria Hrynenko is holed up in the Taconic Correctional Facility in cushy Bedford, New York, just down the road from Martha Stewart’s home, eligible for parole in 2025, serving a 4-12 year manslaughter conviction. Hyrnenko has so far been in prison for less than two months, seven years after the explosion. That’s how slowly our justice system works. Her husband had worked as a cashier at Veselka before opening Kiev, my favorite place to get pierogies at 2AM. Now her homeland of Ukraine and the city of Kiev is being attacked and destroyed, and her husband and son are both gone to an early grave, so it’s hard to wish any more punishment on her, even though it is hard to forgive what she did.

This was all about greed, it should have never happened. Today we remember the victims, Nicholas Figueroa and Moises Locón, their families and friends, and everyone in the East Village who was affected by on of the worst tragedies in the city’s history.

Carol from East 5th Street said...

Thank you Giovanni for reminding us of this sad anniversary. It was a tragic day for the East Village and for the families and friends of the two men who died. I hope the families of the deceased go to Maria Hrynenko's parole board meeting and ask for a longer sentence than 4 years. Glad the building had the decency to put up a memorial plaque.

I used to go to Park Sushi every Thursday evening after work. As I tried to walk east on St Marks Place that evening (it was blocked) I was shocked when I was finally able to get to Second Avenue. I still have photos on my phone of the fire and two cars that were totally mangled into twisted balls of steel by the blast. Moishe was giving out cookies to the crowd.

So many good memories but also sadness thinking of the many small local shops and restaurants that are now gone.

Anonymous said...

Remembering this tragic day with sadness; IMO it was akin to 9/11 in this neighborhood in its terms of senseless destruction and horrible loss of life.

This ENTIRELY PREVENTABLE event has forever altered part of the East Village; it ultimately tilted this area more in the direction of the expensive new development that was put up on the site of *affordable* buildings whose tenants lost their homes due to the greed of this owner and her dishonest plumber. There can never be compensation for that.

Remembering EVEN MORE Moises Locon and Nicholas Figueroa, who lost their lives and futures that day. There can NEVER be justice of any kind for their deaths. I pray their families feel some comfort in knowing that the loss of their loved ones will NEVER be forgotten, and that there is a permanent marker in their honor. RIP, Mr. Locon and Mr. Figueroa.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the reminder. This needs to be posted yearly as a reminder of what landlords are capable of and what was common practice until this event. Too bad there is no mention of the landlord's role in this on the plaque. At least there is a plaque. May they rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

I think about the two young men often when walking past the new building. I wonder what they would be doing now. If they would be married, have children. Sending love to their families on the anniversary. I sincerely hope this tragedy changed the way buildings are inspected forever.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this coverage.
What a tragedy.

Though nothing can bring back the lives lost, the City could have done the right and made sure the new building was for a good cause.
But it is more luxury housing.

Lola Sáenz said...

Thank you Grieve.
Nicholas and Moises

Scuba Diva said...

I fervently hope the corrupt Maria Hrynenko goes to that warm place sooner than later.