The fire in the two-story, mixed-use building at 72-10 Myrtle Avenue took nearly four hours to get under control, and sent 11 firefighters to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The fire began in the ceiling and cockloft of the residence above the store, which hosts a farmer’s market, and extended into neighboring buildings.
Sanela Selmanovic, a Woodside resident, established a GoFundMe page for two families who lived above the market. The families have four children, all under the age of 10.
“The families have been displaced from their homes and lost all valuables,” Selmanovic said. “The residential tenants did not have renters insurance and have no immediate access to relief.”
Selmanovic is also encouraging residents to donate clothing, food or health care products.
State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr., said that this most recent fire is just another example of the dangers that cocklofts – large areas of concealed air space, between the top floor and ceiling and the underside of the roof deck on homes – pose to residents.
Following a fire in Middle Village in 2013, Addabbo began pushing a state bill that would allow residents to apply for a 30 percent tax credit to repair cocklofts.
“Similar circumstances, including the fire on June 24, have prompted me to speak out about the hazardous conditions found throughout older houses in the district,” Addabbo said. “Over the years, there has been growing evidence that cocklofts help intensify the spread of hard-to-control flames, putting both residents and firefighters at extreme risk.”