At least 35 people are without a home this Thanksgiving after a large fire tore through an apartment building in the Inwood section of Manhattan Wednesday night.
Eighteen hours after the fire, residents still could not re-enter their apartments, as the Red Cross and local community members help them with food, clothing and medicines -- a full-fledged effort to support neighbors.
It was a Thanksgiving Eve nightmare on Post Avenue in Inwood.
A witness describes the tense moments as 35 people were displaced from their homes.
"It went up all the way to the roof. It came out about this side first. That’s when i saw it," Diego, a witness to the fire, told News 4 New York.
Orange flames lit up the sky just before midnight Wednesday, leading into the holiday.
"Neighbors came and started banging on doors," resident and survivor Mayra Reyes said. "We all gathered trying to get what we could salvage. It wasn’t much."
Reyes has lived in the neighborhood for 40 years and tried to process what happened after losing most of her family’s belongings.
In all 198 firefighters worked to put out the flames.
The FDNY says no injuries were reported but the fire spread to the top floor – six stories high to the ceiling and roof.
Firefighters say there was a fire at this same building earlier this year -- a building that is under renovation.
People are now pulling together to help their fellow neighbors through this process on a day like Thanksgiving.
"i just feel bad for the kids...parents who worked hard get these apartments," Diego, a witness, said.
Despite losing her belongings, Reyes is thankful on this holiday.
"The most important is that i am alive, that i have my child, my husband, that I have my friends," Reyes said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation as the FDNY remained on scene more than 18 hours after the initial call to make sure there were no hidden hot spots.