Relief efforts are underway as a four-alarm fire in North Bergen last night has displaced 36 people from 11 different families, with North Bergen CARES accepting clothing donations and four GoFundMe pages already launched.
“Thank you to all the first responders for their courageous efforts and for working tirelessly to ensure this horrific fire did not result in a loss of life,” state Senator (D-32)/North bergen Mayor Nick Sacco said in a statement.
“The Commissioners and I have met with residents and emergency service personnel to ensure a safe and organized operation, and our North Bergen C.A.R.E.S. coordinator Aimee Focaraccio is also collaborating with the Red Cross to assist all of the victims. We will continue to work with the residents during this difficult time.”
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, however officials believe it started around 5 p.m. in a brownstone at 1319 9th St. and was spurred on by incredibly strong winds, quickly spreading from one home to the next.
As firefighters and other emergency responders evacuated residents, the fire ultimately consumed seven homes, with everyone making it out safely due to their efforts.
In the immediate aftermath, the township provided the displaced residents with a shuttle bus to a hotel, as well as food and other emergency supplies, while the American Red Cross provided assistance as well.
Animal control was also on the scene and rescued at least five pet. There are believed to still be some pets inside the homes, which they are still working to rescue.
North Bergen CARES (Community Assistance Relief Events & Support) was launched in 2013 to help the victims of fires or other disasters.
They will be accepting donations of new or gently used clothing today and tomorrow to support the families impacted by this fire. To donate, please contact Aimee Focaraccio at (201) 392-0229 or visit NB CARES on Facebook or www.northbergen.org.
A GoFundMe has been started for Jackson Bravo, who lost two pets in the blaze, Scott Henriquez, whose home is completely destroyed, as well as for the Maldonado and Navas families and Schyvonne Cruz – a grandmother who lost everything.
“Due to focusing on the children, she left all her belongs and prized possessions. Leaving behind pictures of my grandma, my kids, and all items left behind from my grandma,” the description on Cruz’s GoFundMe says.
“Due to the rush she also left behind cell phones and any money she had. We ask that you please donate anything possible or even share.”