June 20, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
A GoFundMe page has been launched to help cover the funeral costs of three family members who died in a massive fire in South Richmond Hill Friday.
Married couple Nanda Persaud, 59, and Salima Persaud, 53, along with their son Devon, 22, died in the blaze that ripped through their shared home. The family is of Guyanese heritage.
The 5-alarm fire broke out around 2:15 p.m. and ravaged the three-story house located at 104-18 125th St. that ended up collapsing, according to the FDNY.
The inferno, exacerbated by high winds, engulfed four additional homes causing other residents to flee out onto the roadway, according to police and reports.
The blaze brought more than 200 firefighters to the scene and was extinguished at around 4:45 p.m., according to reports. It is unknown what caused the fire.
The remains of Nanda, Salima and Devon were discovered by firefighters in the basement where the family is believed to have lived. It is understood there were other tenants living on the first floor and second floor, as well as in the attic.
The GoFundMe was launched Saturday by Abid Ally, a first cousin of the family.
He said the couple’s only surviving son, named Boyo, 32, does not have the financial ability to pay for the funeral expenses. Boyo also has two children of his own and lives at a separate location, Ally told the Queens Post.
Ally has appealed to the public to contribute to the fund, which has raised around $37,000 so far. The fundraiser aims to generate $60,000.
“This family perished in the fire and did not deserve to die like this,” Ally wrote.
“They were always so welcoming, treated everyone like family, and always tried their best to put a smile on everyone’s faces. It is our duty as human beings to give them the same love and care that they shared with everyone.”
He said that Nanda and Salima had worked hard their whole lives and the funds would go toward giving the family a proper funeral.
“Any amount small or big will go a long way and be very much appreciated,’ Ally wrote.
“We want them to have the sendoff they all deserve to show our love before they [are] laid to rest/cremated,”
The devastating incident spurred Mayor Eric Adams to visit the fire scene on Saturday, according to reports.
He also tweeted about the tragedy writing “our hearts break for Queens.”
“Every New Yorker feels this tragedy and we will be with those affected in the days, weeks and months ahead.”
Our hearts break for Queens. For the families of those we’ve lost and those fighting for their lives.
Every New Yorker feels this tragedy and we will be with those effected in the days, weeks and months ahead. https://t.co/y49DpxtqMT
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) June 18, 2022
FDNY members are currently operating at a 5-alarm fire at 104-18 125 Street in Queens. pic.twitter.com/kmIaI215Gf
— FDNY (@FDNY) June 17, 2022