New Hoboken group forms to memorialize fire victims from the 70s and 80s

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A new Hoboken group has formed in the hopes of memorializing the arson fire victims who unexpectedly and tragically lost their lives in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Photo courtesy of the Hoboken Historical Museum.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

A group of residents have formed to launch the Hoboken Fire Victims Memorial Project, founded in 2018 by Rose Orozco. She is a retired nurse who lived and worked in Hoboken through the tumultuous years of the fires.

“On any given night, a fire could erupt engulfing the entire building in flames, killing those who were sleeping. Those Hoboken residents who perished and the thousands affected should be remembered,” she said in a statement.

In the late 1970’s into the early 1980’s, hundreds of arson fires occurred across the Mile Square City, where 55 residents were killed and thousands more were made homeless, as The Washington Post reported.

Many of these fires began in the early hours before dawn while building residents slept. The vast majority of the victims were Hispanic women and children.

In one arson incident alone, on January 2nd, 1979, 21 people died at 131 Clinton St.
Those responsible for the the fires were never convicted and numerous fire victims were not named in news accounts at the time.

The Hoboken Fire Victims Memorial Project will work to identify the names of the victims of the fires and start efforts toward creating a memorial in Hoboken.

Family members who lost a loved one are invited to express their thoughts on the Hoboken Fire Victims Memorial Project Facebook page.

As of now, the memorial project committee consists of Orozco, retired Hoboken Fire Capt. Tommy Molta, All Saints Episcopal Parish Rector Elaine Ellis Thomas, Hoboken Oral History Project editor Holly Metz, Council President Jen Giattino and Roman Brice, the editor of Hobokenhorse.com.

63 COMMENTS

  1. Cmon Rose. You put this political alt right extremist hate spamming tool on the fires memorial committee? really??????? the blogger who gets his facts from a crackerjack box? no one wants to work with that radical political hatemonger.

  2. A long time coming. This reckoning is badly needed for the victims, their families and the city itself.

    But Brice can be observed here and elsewhere everyday making wild unfounded claims of conspiracies and felonies committed by Bhalla and city hall as well as endless personal attacks on anyone who doesn’t support his favorites. It points not just to his lack of personal integrity but an overall laziness about getting to the facts. No way you can trust him here. I’d be among the first to write a check to this group but not until he’s gone.

    • No one wants or asked you for money. They just want you to get your medication adjusted and go away. Take your weak lies with you. Rose won’t be intimidated by the good efforts by cowards.

        • If you have a problem with an editorial elsewhere, take it up elsewhere not here.
          This is not about your personal problems, lack of reader comprehension and your desire to spread lies and your hate. This story is about the victims of the Hoboken fires.

  3. “Everyone in City Hall… and every single person in the Hoboken mayor’s office knows about the dark money force behind the terror flyer in 2017.”

    That’s from today’s editorial. Accusing the mayor and everyone in city hall of being knowing parties to a felony that internationally disgraced this city.

    Apparently EVERYONE knows exactly what happened and how except the HPD who are by implication as incompetent as the mayor is corrupt.

    It is impossible to support an organization whose task is seeking the sad truth when they prominently include someone with absolutely no interest in the truth. And wait til this Trumper finds out the immigration status of many of these murder victims.

    Correct this mistake now, or this very very worthy cause is doomed.

    • Your reading comprehension is bad but your guilty conscience is revealing. Bigly.
      Very interesting editorial by Hoboken Horse today on Dark Money and City Hall. If it’s making the guilty squirm, well, good. Keep it coming I say.
      http://www.hobokenhorse.com/2019/09/horse-sense-dark-money-hoboken-dirty.html

      This isn’t the story on Hudson County View. Nancy should go back to her Ravi propaganda site and complain to the other Ravi political operatives there. Hopefully, more of the guilty behind the horrible fires are squirming too.

      • This would be the time to sign on under your own name an acknowledge the concerns surrounding your hyper-partisanship and make assurances that you can leave that at the door and do the right thing. Instead you add 5 more names to the 1000 you already have and start shooting the messengers. Your “interesting editorial” is pure defamation of the entirety of city hall. Spin away all you like. You and Tiffany are perfect for each other. Set a date.

      • Not whomever you are scapegoating. The diviseness and vitriol you spew daily toward Hoboken residents and city workers and city employess and the HPD, anyone not in line with your agenda, is incompatible with the loving memorial project. I have materials to contribute and will donate them to Pastor Elaine once you step down.

    • The memorial project is not doomed because Nancy lost her mind. Horsey called on the FBI to break the case of the Ravi Bhalla terror flier. Look at the panic. Quite informative. Best to those working on the memorial project and federal law enforcement on both.

  4. Who allowed the antisocial partisan hater Mr Brice on this fine committee? This noble project is stained by his divisive presence. Be careful committee members. If he finds out you support the mayor he will trash you on his so called blog

  5. Amazing that there are people in this town that would use their dislike (maybe hatred) for one person as an excuse to ignore or oppose an extremely worthy, important and long overdue initiative.

    I’m more amazed that instead of supporting the project, they are busy railing against that one person on this website.

    If these voices decrying any particular person or persons participation are representative of the way that the mayor’s slate will govern, we all need to take heed. That’s a sizeable red flag for me. I’ve often suspected that the mayor does not govern like someone that serves the entire community, but like someone that only wants to serve the people that will bow down to him.

    Even more of a red flag is that his slate talks about needing people that will work together, but look at the behavior of people on this page! Are these anonymous commenters -mayoral supporters- providing a window into what we can expect from a council that is a Bhalla majority council. Obviously that’s what his and this slate’s supporters want. That is very worrisome.

    Brice lives in the 2nd ward. Were the mayor’s candidate to win, does Brice lose his representation?

    Sorry, that type of governance is completely unacceptable.

    The good news is, I doubt Rose will be cowed by any attempts at intimidation by this group of bullies.

    • No one is ignoring this initiative. Quite the opposite. It’s close association with someone who just yesterday defamed everyone in city hall out of pure political hatred greatly damages the image of the group. No one expects you to understand that since you are still publishing your press releases on his alt-right blog. Trying to make this a referendum on Bhalla’s slate is truly pathetic even for you. May you be gone soon.

    • Is your lack of empathy for Brice’s targets which include members of our community and 24 million Sikhs worldwide. I understand Brice has never offered Sikhs an apology and shows no regret for the hurt he caused. You bring up election politics, no one here has. You are talking about politics. Politics are irrelevant. This is about love.

      It is amazing that you can’t recognize the divisiveness Brice represents, like putting David Duke on the committee.

      • The only blogger showing lack of empathy for our community and the fire victims is GA. I’m sure you’ve seen her disgusting post using Hoboken fires for satire a couple of day’s ago. Not funny! But you probably think its just swell.

        Has GA apologized for that? Since you’re obviously so sensitive to offensive posts, why aren’t you demanding that she apologize? Considering she offended the Jewish community years ago, I’d have thought she’d have learned not to do that sort of thing.

        I thought the MSV post was offensive but didn’t waste my time contacting every journalist I could think of (during work hours) to try to get international condemnation. Since you are obviously incredibly sensitive to that sort of thing, why do you only call out the offenders selectively? Amazing that you didn’t recognize that divisiveness.

      • Oh, stop your bellyaching Mark. No one insulted any Sikhs, just made a joke about your fearless leader. Grow up. Go complain to Hobokenhorse.com on his site.

    • You have your latest Vision Media press release right next to Brice’s defamation of literally everyone in city hall too! Congratulations!

      When will you and Jen be introducing legislation to improve the deplorable level of competence in the HPD? Obviously they aren’t NEARLY as good at police work as you two and your far right blogger. After all you all solved the flyer case so easily and uncovered the massive conspiracy at city hall while Ferrante has been stumbling around for going on 2 years with nothing to show for it!

      It’s time to get rid of the dead wood at HPD and replace them with the FAR smarter, FAR more competent and FAR more honest team from the FAR right: Tiff, Jen and Brice!

      #FerranteMustGo!
      #TiffanyForCHPD!

      • Spamming this story with 1,000 screen names impresses no one. Real work for Hoboken residents and the fire victims who died and displaced is what matters, not Nancy ranting like a coward here.

    • It’s just Nancy who thinks personal attacks and lies will be helpful for her fanaticism for Ravi as his paid political operative. Although your comments are thoughtful and interesting, she thinks you are a councilwoman and will attack you without evidence, her standby. Pathetic is the usual but on this story, far moreso.

      • Whomever you are scapegoating in undignified comments here shows your manifest unfitness for the honor of serving on this memorial committee. Hundreds of Hoboken residents know who you are and what you stand for. Instead of humility and recognition that you are a controversial, disliked figure in Hoboken, you assign unsubstantiated blame that one person whom you appear to dislike is responsible for the reaction from the Hoboken community. Your true colors. Please Pastor and others, please reconsider putting this intemperate man on your fire memorial committee.

        • No one elected you to anything. Mark Heyer needs to move on. Or he can complain to Horse at Hobokenhorse.com. I’m sure he’ll get the cowardly response he’ll earn there for his spamming here with Stan. Stupid.

  6. It is a shame that this important cause will never truly get the positive reaction they should because they chose to include a bigoted and race baiting clown like Roman Brice.

    I hope people like Rose Orozco, Tommy Molta, and Reverend Elaine realize the damage Brice causes.

  7. Jen published her Vision Media press release right next to the article that defames every worker in city hall as a criminal conspirator. Nice work, Jen. Hope you weren’t planning on putting your name on any fund-raising materials. Your pro-defamation outlook might turn some people off.

  8. I don’t know why it’s such big deal Roman Brice is on the committee or not. Rose had an idea and Roman helped her out is all. He had some skills that Rose lacked and he filled the gap is all. The blowback is coming from GA and she is a disgusting human being. Nancy needs her head examined as she attacks a well meaning website with her garbage once again.

    • The blowback is real. It’s not from whomever you are scapegoating. The blowback is from Hoboken residents. Mr. Brice has articulated grossly inappropriate divisiveness to be involved in this memorial. I am praying for Pastor Elaine, please make this a project of love not hate.

    • It’s pretty illuminating how Stan, Mark and Nancy see this important memorial project as worthy for mindless personal attacks. Reflects very poorly on them and of course Ravi Bhalla.

      • Posting under women’s names now, Mr. Brice? Dragging your political agenda into real community objection to your presence on this committee is what you do. Unsubstantiated attacks on people you dislike by name is what you do. It is impossible for you to work well with others. You are not capable.

  9. And speaking of lazy Nancy did a story about me supporting Nick. Yes i singed his petition because at the time he was the only one in the fifth ward running against Phil Cohen . For the record I am supporting Tim Crowell as he has the support of Peter Cunningham and many others in real reform.
    Phil Cohen is a patsy for Ravi and that is all. He underestimates his pull and that there is two challengers there is likely to be a runoff. May the best person not named Phil win.

    Once again sloppy Nancy gets the facts wrong but what else is new.

    • The article says this: “In the 5th, candidate Nicola Maganuco petition signatories included activist Perry Belfiore and NHSA Commissioner Kurt Gardiner, while first-timer Tim Crowell got the full Giattino for Mayor lineup.”

      https://grafixavenger.blogspot.com/2019/09/reform-resistance-candidates-what.html

      There is no other mention of you. None. So which is it? You were too LAZY to read the article or are LYING about its contents? Either way, are you conflating extrapolating support from petition signing with defaming everyone in city hall because someone hates the mayor?

  10. Whatever one thinks Roman Brice personally, he is a divisive, controversial figure whose inclusion in this group is an unnecessary distraction that undermines the group’s announced mission.

    The fact that this group was formed during election season and includes Jen Giattino and no representative of the Mayor’s office already raises the question as to whether part of the group’s agenda is to help Giattino get re-elected.

    Including Brice in the group just serves to reinforce that notion.

    It also reinforces the notion that Fisher and Giattino still don’t understand how politically toxic Brice has successfully made himself. The Brice/Gardiner echo chamber collectively doesn’t have enough votes to elect a democratic committee person, and everyone in that echo chamber is already voting for Giattino or Fisher if they live in their wards. There is lots of downside and simply no upside in doing anything other than distancing themselves to innoculate themselves as much as they can.

    • The group was not formed during election season. It was formed in 2018 and its webpage originated back in the spring which is clearly dated for anyone who looks. Obviously, you didn’t and show up to do the henchmen’s work for Ravi Bhalla. This memorial project isn’t about him, you and your political vendetta over corruption exposure in Dark Money and attacks on Hoboken.

      https://www.facebook.com/Hoboken-Fire-Victims-Memorial-Project-300830683941433/?modal=admin_todo_tour

      Being against corruption isn’t controversial no matter how much Stan, Mark or Nancy whine as political operatives for Ravi Bhalla. Attacking a good cause because you want to attack a person who criticizes your political leader on local issues is immature and childish.

      That’s your problem, no one else’s.

    • Simply ridiculous. If you knew anything about this you’d know that Rose has been contemplating this project since she took a class with a local life coach year’s ago. Ask the former mayor, she was in the same workshop before she was mayor. Rose continued to gather data for years and needed someone with computer expertise to assist with the project. Roman volunteered to help. Jen has also been supportive of Rose’s project for years. Repeat: years…without a thought for any reelection

      • Not her fault. That POS should never have tainted this sacred memorial project. He is damaged goods in the larger Hoboken community. I am not Stan or Mark or Nancy or Jason or Vijay or Jon Allen or Ravi.

        Gardiner is no better. He sits on a public board. The blog excerpt someone posted calls him a “signatory” on a petition not a supporter. Perhaps Mr. Gardiner needs a dictionary.

    • The only one being divisive over this overdue non-political community effort is you Stan.
      Oh, and your fellow Ravi Bhalla political operatives spamming this story with cowardly comments.

      • That is you, correct? Why not defend yourself under your given name? You’ve written 20 comments under 20 names. Who’s the coward?

  11. I know little about this effort but know everything I need to know about Mr. Brice to stay away. That knowledge comes from observing his behavior and writing for several years, not just this election season. I agree with lindolou that adding Giattino smacks of partisan politics, but adding someone from the mayor’s office will not solve that. The whole thing may be too little, too late anyway, and sadly it’s off to a bad start.

    • Whine away but the Memorial Project is off to a great start. No amount of spamming and mindless personal attacks will stop the good efforts of this project. Cowardly attacks reflect on you not the good work of Hoboken residents as here.

  12. Predictable. The circus follows Roman Brice.

    He has 5 or 6 people in his limited repertoire he attacks for wide community outrage that this mean spirited confabulating bigot was put on such an important committee. Mr. Brice calls these imaginary foes “cowardly” under dozens of screen names. Mr. Brice is the coward. He can defend himself under his own name, if he disagrees with the comments here not dozens of pseudonyms. His behavior here smacks of immaturity.

    I agree with Ms. Linda Lou.

    • Stop being a coward. Stan Grossbard can wear a dress but it doesn’t make him a Linda or a Linda Lou. Calling people names and doing so here is a further embarrassment to Ravi Bhalla as his political operatives repeatedly demonstrate. This community effort isn’t about Stan, Ravi, Mark Heyer or that crazy woman he pays. If you want to argue on Hobokenhorse.com and its position on tax increases, Dark Money or Ravi Bhalla, you can do it there.

  13. And one more thing back to the intentions of the site itself. Rose wanted a place where the victims of the fire could be acknowledged and that is it. Mayor Bhalla wasn’t asked because he was simply not aware. It wasn’t some effort to get Jen re-elected I can assure you. Began at least far back as 2017 or even earlier.

    What you have here is pro-Ravi operatives making political issues out of who is behind this and that is all. There are perhaps legitimate issues to go after the incumbents but this is not one of them. Ravi should denounce this but I suspect he won’t. Shame on him. But in case he does not know shame on Stan, Mark, and Nancy the three real Doofuses of Hoboken politics. Their hoof prints are all over this thread.

  14. The almost 50 posts on this thread pretty clearly make the point about the extent to which Brice’s role is an unhelpful distraction undermining a good cause.

    It doesn’t matter whether you think Brice has earned his poor reputation (my view) or has been unfairly maligned, it is what it is.

    Trying repeatedly to “out” me and the other folks who state the obvious on this site about Brice doesn’t change that reality. It just reaffirms it.

    • Brice’s victims have friends and family. Maybe some are here. My friend was called “retardo” by Brice on MSV, his appearance mocked, his work information published. Everybody knows Brice write 99. 999% of the comments and saves the worst for them. He has no balls. A mean nasty piece of work. And a bigot in my opinion. He is the last person who should represent a community he divides every day on his garbage blog. I am sure the committee ladies were well intentioned but Brice should find another hobby. And Brice’s name guessing is ridiculous. More than 5 people think he’s a very bad fit for this.

    • Ravi campaign attacks here will not fish your wish. Just a few bullies spamming against a good community effort. The only thing outed here is the ugly effort by Ravi’s campaign people. All because Hoboken residents dared to do the right thing for Hoboken fire victims. People should take note of the craven and ugly extremes in mindless personal attacks. This is EXACTLY what they are about and what they’ll do for power. They seek total control and to crush dissent. You failed.

    • Your comment is sensible. But you’re not talking about someone with any sense. Heinis, Fisher or Giattino are the only ones who can bring this bizarro outburst under control. The author has no control as is amply demonstrated here.

Comments are closed.