Fire-Damaged Harbortown Building To Be Demolished

PERTH AMBOY— Mayor Wilda Diaz and the city’s Human Services Department are working closely with the community and organizations to help those affected by Sunday evening’s fire in Harbortown, a private housing complex in Perth Amboy that destroyed the homes of nearly 100 people. There were no fatalities and no serious injuries.

The fire was completely extinguished Tuesday afternoon after experiencing some smoldering since Sunday. The city’s Code Enforcement Department has issued an order to begin to demolish the building by Thursday, Dec. 30.


Today, prior to the demolition of the building, fire victims of 9 units that are safe to enter will be escorted by public safety officials to retrieve their belongings. Residents in search of valuables and medicine in the other units may request them. Public Safety officials will attempt to retrieve these items if the structure is safe enough to enter.

The American Red Cross has supplied the families with vouchers and other necessities since the day of the incident. Harbortown has offered housing to all displaced families, 21 of the 31 families are in the process of being moved into vacant apartments within the Harbortown community—other families have moved to other nearby apartment communities and several others are still considering their options. The property owners are working with them to find the best solution for each family. Harbortown has also provided Wal-Mart gift cards for each family.

“Perth Amboy’s community is really coming together to provide for our families. We have an overwhelming response from local organization and surrounding communities in demonstrating the Spirit of Giving,” said Mayor Wilda Diaz.

Tomorrow, the City of Perth Amboy will host a presentation of gifts and donations from local and surrounding businesses and other organizations. Various local aid organizations are hosting holiday dinners for the displaced residents throughout the next week.

The city is not directly receiving monetary donations, but several area relief organizations have already contacted the city offering assistance to the affected families, including the Jewish Renaissance Foundation and the NAACP.

If you are interested in making other donations you may contact the Office of Housing and Social Services at 1-732-826-1690. The City of Perth Amboy will be closed on Friday, Dec. 24, and will reopen on Monday, Dec.27.

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