Apartment residents work to recover from devastating fire

Posted: Updated:

A massive fire displaced dozens of Fort Lee residents on Valentine’s Day – leaving them to now pick up the pieces.

The fire at the Linwood Park Apartments badly damaged the 48 units inside one building. Mayor Mark Sokolich says that the building will have to be knocked down.

The complex is made up of two buildings. The second building suffered smoke damage, but residents will be able to move back in eventually. A firewall and the work of volunteer firefighters are being credited with saving at least half of the homes there.

“Now the work really starts to make sure families that are displaced have a place to go,” Sokolich says.

RELATED: ‘My whole life is in there’ – Massive fire destroys Fort Lee apartment building 

Fort Lee officials, the American Red Cross, local businesses and people from neighboring communities have come out to donate to and help the people who have lost everything.

“It’s so sad, it really it. But they’re so brave. They know what they’re up against,” the mayor says. “I can assure you that Fort Lee and our sister communities and state, local and county governments are going to make sure this complete disruption to their lives is as easy to get through as possible."

The local Hilton Hotel has donated rooms and CVS Pharmacy is filling prescriptions. The city has also set up a GoFundMe page for the displaced.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but authorities believe it started in the basement.

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