Church services held to remember East Harlem victims

Kemberly Richardson has the story.
March 16, 2014 3:44:43 PM PDT
On this first Sunday since the deadly collapse and fire, many visitors filled the pews at Church of God. The visitors are part of the congregation of the Spanish Christian Church, destroyed in the East Harlem blast.

"There needed to be a space and opportunity for people to heal, and the community as a whole to come together and through prayer and support, demonstrate we're going to come through this," said NYC Coucil Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Not far away at Bethel Gospel Assembly, Mayor Bill de Blasio payed tribute to Griselde Camacho and Carmen Tanco. Camacho and Tanco lived in one of the buildings that is now gone, both were dedicated members of the Bethel family.

"In moments like this, we remember those who get the most from life are those who give the most to others," said Mayor de Blasio.

Diana Wilson has been placed in a shelter but will not be able to get back into her apartment for months. Coming back to the neighborhood was not easy.

Diana Wilson, Evacuee, says

"Going in there, they are cleaning up and it looks better but the smell is awful, makes you sick inside," said Wilson.

Friends say Thomas Perez, the pastor of the church that was destroyed, is expected to be released from the hospital on Monday. He collapsed after seeing a bible, pulled from the debris.

Also on Sunday, the city announced, so far $250,000 has come into the Mayor's fund. These donations will directly go towards helping who were affected by the explosion.