Sunset Park fire baby

April 7, 2011 Heather Chin
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It has been four weeks since a man with a grudge allegedly set afour-story apartment building on fire in Sunset Park. For the 30people injured and the other 50 to 70 people left homeless, thishas meant four weeks of grief, anger, uncertainty, healing – andnow, for some, a ray of hope.

On Sunday, April 3, a baby boy was born in the burn unit atStaten Island University Hospital to one of the fire victims. Thenewborn weighed 4 pounds, 9 ounces at birth; his mother, who hasnot yet been identified, continues to be treated for seriousinjuries from the conflagration.

In published reports, the hospital said that this was the firsttime staff could recall a baby being born in the burn unit.

The three-alarm fire was set in a first floor stairwell in theearly morning hours on Sunday, March 13, and spread quickly,injuring 40 people, including eight firefighters. Several residentsjumped out of windows to escape the flames. Fifty-six-year-old ChiuTsang was arrested shortly after the blaze, and charged with arson,criminal mischief and multiple counts of assault.

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In the wake of the tragedy, the Sunset Park community united toaid the injured and displaced survivors, most of whom were Chineseimmigrants.

Councilmember Sara González’s office and Paul Mak of theBrooklyn Chinese-American Association worked together to extend andestablish temporary housing arrangements with help from theAmerican Red Cross, the city’s Department of Housing Preservationand Development, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church.

Efforts were also made to ensure that the necessary paperworkwas completed so that those who were injured could continue toreceive treatment at hospitals such as Lutheran Medical Center andStaten Island University Hospital.

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