Community helps victims of fire that tore through row of businesses in Queens

SUNNYSIDE, Queens (WABC) -- A community in Queens came together Monday night to help victims of a fast-moving and destructive fire that ripped through businesses last week.

A fund-raising event was held to assist those impacted by the blaze.

"The people of this community have hearts of gold," said New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

The wind-swept fire gutted six family businesses in Sunnyside. Nearly 100 people lost their jobs as a result, including Felix Poma.

"Some people were crying of course, we were so feeling sad," said Poma.

Felix worked at New York Style Eats for 11 years. And now the business and his job, are gone.

"People were crying in the streets hugging each other," said Van Bramer. "That's the kind of outpouring of emotion that we saw."

Jamie Faye Bean helped organize Monday night's event and a GoFundMe page.

"It's just been an extreme outpouring, so inspiring," she said.

"It feels like we are the stars of the show right now and we're thankful, Sunnyside," said Poma.

There has also been help finding jobs. But the money raised so far, nearly $100,000, will be given in cash to help get the workers through the holidays.

Firefighters evacuated six families from a neighboring building before the blaze was declared under control. An MTA bus was brought to the scene to help shelter the displaced residents.

12 people were injured in the fire, seven firefighters and five civilians. Most of the injuries were minor.

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