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Series of Fundraising Campaigns Launch in Wake of 5-Alarm Fire That Burned Through Row of Kew Gardens Businesses

Jan. 5, 2017 Staff Report

Loyal customers, family and friends are turning to GoFundMe to raise money for the business owners whose stores were ravaged by a 5-alarm fire that ripped through 14 businesses at 77-49 Vleigh Place, between 77th Rd and 79th Ave, in Kew Gardens Hills last Friday night.

Despite the FDNY reportedly arriving three minutes after the initial 6:24 pm call, a shared rooftop caused the blaze to spread quickly into every business on the strip. A total of 200 firefighters and 40 units struggled for six hours to put out the blaze.

Now business owners and friends are calling on the public to help pick up the pieces.

Kosher Moshe’s Pizza (Source: Daniel Benjamin)

“Kosher Moshe’s Pizza was my family’s only source of income, and we’ve dedicated our entire lives to building this business,” wrote Daniel Benjamin, owner of Kosher Moshe’s Pizza whose business was destroyed in the fire, on his GoFundMe campaign site.

“If we do get [an] insurance pay out, it will be minimal, and not nearly enough to help rebuild Kosher Moshe’s and sustain a moderate standard of living. All we want is to rebuild our business so we can continue to support the community and our family.”

Meanwhile some businesses had only been open a short time prior to the destruction and are now faced with an uncertain financial future.

“We moved into this location 2 months ago,” said Benjamin Kandinov, whose father owned the Eliyau Barber Shop on the strip. According to Kandinov, they did not have fire insurance, and said it was a complete loss. “As difficult as it is to ask for help, we are left with not too many other options,” reads his GoFundMe campaign site, which has a fundraising goal of $35,000.

King David Bakery, which was on the block for more than 20 years at 77-51 Vleigh Pl. also launched its own fundraising page, as did the Haims International grocery store that wrapped around the corner of 77th Rd. which set a fundraising goal of $125,000.

Source: Daniel Benjamin

The lot which was home to these and more businesses has since been condemned by

the Department of Buildings, which would make rebuilding on the strip legally impossible in the near future.



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Click for Comments 
Li ya hu

1) the owners had a minimal fire insurance policy, the minimum required by law. Of course they’ll get repaid much less than the full cost of the property and business, but that’s the choice you all made. Doesn’t seem fair for me to be bailing owners out for poor business decisions
2) i have a great idea that usually works like a charm – sue the city of ny for putting out a fire for too long and not doing enough to save the property. Whether or not it has merit, you are sure to scare the city bureaucrats into paying you money


How will help Avraham Kosher Bakery? They also were in that area for 16 year
and it was only one source of income for the family?


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