Archive for the tag 'luna park houses'

The Trump (Source: Google Maps)

Luna Park Houses (Source: Google Maps)

A 93-year-old survivor of the Holocaust died Monday morning after a fire ripped through his 15th floor apartment.

Lipa Briks, who fled Poland in the 1930s, was pulled unconscious from his burning apartment at the Luna Park complex at 2954 West 8th Street shortly after 1:15 a.m.

He was taken to Coney Island Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

He lived alone inside the apartment.

Fire marshals said yesterday that the blaze was caused by faulty electrical wiring.

“He escaped the Nazis, he escaped the Soviet army, he escaped an anti-Semitic Polish regime, but he couldn’t escape the fire,” Briks’ friend and neighbor Michael Bar told the Daily News. “He was the only one in his very large family to survive the Holocaust.”

Clarification: The original version of this article said the victim was taken to Coney Island Hospital, where he died. To clarify, he was dead on arrival and was pronounced so at the hospital. The article has been amended to reflect this.

Source: JohnnyBarker / Flickr

For some people, Hurricane Sandy came and went, barely disrupting their lives or neighborhoods. Others, especially the elderly living in Brighton Beach and Coney Island, were not nearly as lucky. A report in the New York Daily News chronicles the weeks-long nightmare that elderly New York City Housing Authority residents have faced in Sandy’s aftermath.

Virtual prisoners of their own apartments, scores of seniors were shut in their homes without power, heat, hot water, and medical supplies, and had no one coming by to check in on or assist them. New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio blames the mayor’s office and NYCHA for failing to do a more extensive door to door check of people’s homes affected by shortages of essential needs.

The city claims to have visited more than 65,000 apartments, with 42,000 of those being NYCHA properties. However, de Blasio told The Daily News that the effort wasn’t enough. “They’re missing whole parts of the city. It’s scattershot. We hear it over and over: ‘No one has knocked on our door.’”

Those the city missed include Irine Lombardo, a 74-year-old Coney Island resident forced to evacuate her flood-damaged apartment to a friend in Brighton Beach. During the storm, she lost her oxygen tanks, and when forced to relocat to a friend’s fifth floor apartment in Brighton Beach, she had no access to electricity, heat, or hot water, leaving her trapped and vulnerable, and without proper medical care.

Irine’s friend, Olga Romanov, told The Daily News that, “Nobody came to us from the city. Nobody came to us from NYCHA.”

Through the combined efforts of de Blasio’s office and volunteers from the Physicians for a National Health Program, Lombardo finally got her oxygen tanks this past Sunday.

Volunteers sort clothing and other goods dropped off at Warbasse (Photo: Alex Morozov)

Hundreds of seniors and other residents remain trapped in Coney Island’s major co-op developments, and efforts to help them are hampered by supply shortages and language barriers.

Volunteers sort clothing and other goods dropped off at Warbasse (Photo: Alex Morozov)

When Esther grabbed me by the arm, pulled me in for a hug and told me I was the only person who had come to see her in days, I cried. This was an 80-year-old woman living on the 19th floor of Building 3 in the Luna Park co-ops. While all of the other buildings have electricity and some have water, Esther and anyone else above the 10th floor does not.

Hesitant to open the door at first, she eventually revealed that she didn’t prepare well and didn’t have water. She was starting to feel lightheaded. When I saw her face-to-face, she could only ask about her 82-year-old brother in Building 5; she didn’t know that his building had power and water.

Bensonhurst Bean food writer David Cohen and I walked up to the 20th floor with as many water bottles as we could carry. Then we made our way down through the dark hallways, knocking on doors and checking in with over the 160 or so mostly Russian-speaking seniors living in Building 3. We ran out of supplies by the 15th floor.

Unable to make the trek down many flights of stairs for food or water, and with few outsiders aware of their plight, the seniors are trapped. In fact, most of the high-rise co-ops west of Ocean Parkway that house a large senior population are without water, heat or electricity. In some cases, they are without all three. The potential of the freezing nor’easter to come along the East Coast early next week makes this situation a deadly one. 

Keep reading, and find out how you can help.