You are reading

Nearly $11K Raised for Victims of Sunnyside Fire

Firefighters tackling the blaze at the Phipps Garden Apartments complex on 39th Avenue in March (Photo provided by Julie Won)

May 4, 2021 By Ryan Songalia

A GoFundme page that was launched to help several Sunnyside residents whose apartments were damaged by a fire in March has raised nearly $11,000.

The fire broke out on March 23 and several apartments on floors 2 through 4 of the Phipps Garden Apartments complex on 39th Avenue were damaged, forcing five families to relocate.

The fundraiser, organized by Phipps resident Julie Won, aims to help cover the victims’ housing costs, legal fees and other losses that have since followed. There were no injuries stemming from the fire.

The GoFundme proved to be a neighborhood effort, with the funds coming from more than 150 individuals and organizations.

There were four donors that provided $500. These included Sunnyside Community Services, the Sunnyside and Woodside Mutual Aid, Mosaic Covenant Church and the Curran family.

The funds are being distributed evenly among the residents affected by the fire, according to Won.

“This fire was obviously deeply traumatic and disruptive for everyone who was affected. Many of these residents lost priceless possessions that no amount of money could ever bring back,” Won, who is also running for city council, said.

“Nonetheless, I am incredibly heartened at the generosity of our neighbors. Hopefully these funds help these residents get back on their feet.”

The FDNY has yet to reveal the cause of the fire but several residents blame the incident on a contractor working for Phipps. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Phipps says the blaze was started by a contractor who was hired by a tenant.

Phipps which owns and manages the complex has been criticized in recent months over the upkeep of the apartments. It was subject to a great deal of scrutiny recently, prompted by its application to have an adjacent property rezoned. The application was successful, much to the chagrin of several tenants.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Bayside High School hosts annual Social Entrepreneur Trade Fair

Bayside High School hosted its annual Social Entrepreneur Trade Fair Friday. Students from the Career and Technical Education Humanities and Nonprofit Management program each pitched their socially responsible products to students, staff and others in attendance.

Each of the 11th grade students in the program have been taking a college credit course from Farmingdale State College called Social Entrepreneur. The students were divided into 17 groups of five and tasked with coming up with innovative ideas to create businesses while also being socially responsible. The Social Entrepreneur Trade Fair grants them with the opportunity to work on pitching their products to potential customers.

Annual Memorial Day ceremony held at Korean War memorial in Kissena Park

On Friday, May 26, the second annual Memorial Day Ceremony in Kissena Park brought live music, local dignitaries, veterans groups, a presentation of the Colors by members of the Francis Lewis High School JROTC, a flower-laying ceremony and more to the Flushing community.

Those in attendance included Councilwoman Sandra Ung, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, state Senator John Liu, veterans groups, local students, Boy Scout Troop 253 and others.

Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade honors fallen heroes

Rain or shine, the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade, touted as the largest Memorial Day parade in the United States, has been a staple of the quaint Queens neighborhoods since 1927. Thousands lined the parade route under clear blue sky along Northern Boulevard from Jayson Avenue in Great Neck to 245th Street in Douglaston on May 29 to honor the brave men and women who answered their call to service and made the ultimate sacrifice while defending their country.

Many onlookers sporting patriotic attire waved Old Glory and cheered on the parade of military vehicles, veteran and military groups and marching bands led by Grand Marshal Vice Admiral Joanna M Nunan, the first female commander of the United States Merchant Marine Academy. This year’s parade marshals were retired Master Sergeant Lawrence Badia and Vietnam veteran Richard Weinberg.

Flushing native John Favreau to receive honorary doctorate at Queens College commencement ceremony

Actor-director and Flushing native John Favreau will be awarded an honorary doctorate at Queens College’s 99th commencement ceremony on Thursday, June 1. 

Queens College President Frank Wu will preside over the college’s commencement exercises, which will recognize over 5,000-degree candidates. In total, the college will award just over 5,100 undergraduate and graduate degrees this year to candidates from summer and fall 2022, and winter and spring 2023.​