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Family of woman killed in Forest Hills fire launches GoFundMe to pay for funeral expenses

Aug. 22, 2023 By Carlotta Mohamed

The family of a woman who perished in the Aug. 18 Forest Hills apartment fire is extending their gratitude to those who donated to their GoFundMe campaign to raise money to pay for the funeral and other expenses. 

Sippakorn Sornworawed launched the fundraiser to help his family and to ensure his late mother, Thitirat, received the farewell she deserves. Her funeral is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 24. 

“My family is in need of financial support and shelter since we can’t access the building in the unforeseeable future. I also have an 11-year-old little brother whose school semester will start soon,”  Sornworawed wrote on the page.

To date, Sornworawed has raised $9,801, far surpassing his initial $5,000 goal. 

“The outpouring of love and contributions has been truly touching. We understand that this is a challenging period for everyone and every contribution, no matter the size, is profoundly appreciated. For every donation, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” Sornworawed said. 

FDNY and NYPD personnel responded to a call regarding a fire at 71-11 Austin St. at 71st Avenue and 71st Road, at approximately 10:16 p.m. on Aug. 18. Twelve units consisting of 60 firefighters arrived at the four-story building to battle the blaze, which started on the second floor, according to FDNY.

Four other people, including a 1-year-old child, were hurt in the blaze. 

FDNY fire marshals ruled the cause of the fire to be accidental, with faulty electrical wiring in the ceiling. Smoke alarms were present and operational. 

On Aug. 19, Councilwoman Lynn Schulman shared on Twitter that she and her staff have been “working closely with the FDNY and the Red Cross to ensure the safety of the displaced residents.” The councilwoman also visited the affected businesses to assess the damage, and thanked the Queens Chamber of Commerce and the mayor’s office for their help. 

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