The Hoboken Fire Victims Memorial Project is set to unveil a plaque on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. to honor the 56 lives lost in various blazes that occurred between 1978 and 1982.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“It’s been a long time coming,” HFVMP Founder Rosemary Orozco said in a statement. She is a retired nurse who worked in the local Hoboken hospital, St. Mary’s during the fires.
Of the 56 residents who perished in fires during this time period, many were attributed to arson and thousands more were made homeless. Many of the fires numbering in the hundreds occurred in the early hours before dawn while building residents slept.
Additionally, the majority of victims were Hispanic women and children. Parties responsible for the rampant arson were never convicted and numerous victims were not identified in news accounts at the time.
Speakers at the plaque’s unveiling include Orozco, HFVMP committee member Rev. Dr. Elaine Ellis Thomas, Rector of All Saints Episcopal Church, as well as local dignitaries such as Mayor Ravi Bhalla.
Furthermore, The Hoboken Historical Museum, located at 1301 Hudson St., will host Janet Ayala, a teen and survivor at the time of one Hoboken fire, will also be speaking Sunday at approximately 4 p.m. She lost her mother, brother, nephew and father in the fire.
A reception hosted by the museum will follow and the HFVMP plaque was funded with the private support of the Hoboken community and HFVMP committee members.