Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, local leaders offer support to tenants displaced by massive fire

JACKSON HEIGHTS, Queens (WABC) -- After nearly two dozen people were hurt and 200 were left homeless in an apartment fire last week, the residents received some high-profile support and good news.

Local leaders came together Monday to offer their support for the tenants who lost their homes in an 8-alarm apartment fire on 34th Avenue last Tuesday.

The emergency shelter for many of the tenants was set to run out, but Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had some good news to share.

The fire was so ferocious that roughly 400 people ran for their lives and many have not been back to see what - if anything - is left inside their homes.

The Red Cross stepped in and is helping 102 families with emergency housing, including hotel rooms which were slated to end Tuesday.

"I can't access my bank accounts, don't have ID in order to request money it," tenant Rochelly Dorado said.

The tenants' greatest fear is that when the hotel rooms run out, the next step will be the shelter system.

"Like me, my neighbors are hungry, cold, restless, uncertain of what the future holds for us," said tenant Iris Flores.

A long-term solution falls with the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

Officials announced the city has extended family hotel stays until April 20, giving everyone some much needed time to figure out their next steps.

"What our families are asking for here is the most basic thing, to return to the lives they had a week or two ago," Ocasio-Cortez said.

ALSO READ | Open apartment door, 911 call delay fueled massive 8-alarm fire in Queens, FDNY says
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More than 200 residents were displaced by a massive eight-alarm fire that tore through an apartment building in Queens Tuesday, and the FDNY is pointing to a pair of missteps that it says allowed the blaze to spread.

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