Last week, a fire tore through an apartment complex on John F. Kennedy Blvd. in Bayonne, leaving 45 residents without a home. Though there were no injuries, these families have been rendered homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Superintendent of the Bayonne School District John Niesz addressed the Bayonne community regarding the tragic situation on May 14.
“On May 14, 2020, a structure fire occurred at 482 and 484 Kennedy Boulevard,” Niesz said. “The fire caused the loss of homes of some of our Bayonne students. While we are thankful that there was no loss of life at this time, we sadly report that almost 14 of our precious students have lost their homes.”
Currently, the families are under the care of the American Red Cross and the Bayonne Office of Emergency Management and need any help they can get.
The Bayonne School District gathered donations of gift cards over the weekend and on Monday May 18, so that the school district can help the affected students and their families.
“Our students and their families find themselves in a difficult situation, and we are asking for your help,” Niesz said. “Please join me in any financial assistance you can provide to these families who have lost their homes.”
Residents dropped off donations of gift cards at the Rich Korpi Ice Rink at Bayonne High School.
In need of support
Niesz thanked residents for their generosity during this difficult time, also asking residents to refrain from clothing or food donations.
“Thank you for any assistance you can provide, and we appreciate all your thoughts and prayers,” Niesz said.
A GoFundMe fundraiser was started for one of the families affected by the fire. Brian Vasquez said that his family lost everything in the fire.
On the fundraiser page, Vasquez said that his family was unable to get their belongings because the fire had severely damaged his home. However, the family received some good news in the form of their cat, Shadow, being found alive and well the day after the fire.
“I appreciate everyone who has helped me and my family. No words can explain the horror of this event,” Vasquez wrote. “I’m only 20 years old, and I’m on top of every single thing I can possibly do to help my family.”
The Vasquez family has raised $1,768. To donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/my-family-and-i-lost-everything-in-a-house-fire
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.