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Residents displaced by Bronx building collapse being moved into emergency family shelters

Bronx building collapse continues to impact displaced tenants
Bronx building collapse continues to impact displaced tenants 03:00

NEW YORK -- Four days after an apartment building partially collapsed in the Bronx, dozens of families are now being moved into emergency family shelters.

"How are you getting through these days?" CBS New York's Jennifer Bisram asked resident Danielle Martinez.

"My kids. I gotta be good for them," Martinez said.

Displaced families were still scrambling for food and shelter Friday after Monday's partial collapse.

"We was in the living room. We was eating. We just heard a big explosion, and we saw the walls from the living room and the hallway, they just cracked," Martinez said.

Martinez, her husband and their three kids -- ages 6, 7 and 7 months old -- were inside their apartment when the corner of the building came crumbling down.

"We opened the door and it's like everything was foggy," Martinez said. "My husband came and started screaming. He was like, 'It's burning.' We thought the building was burning down."

Her family, like many others, were temporarily placed in a motel. Now, the city is moving them into an emergency family shelter in Washington Heights.

"I not feel good. I have one child. My baby girl is only 3 years. My family now is in the motel. It's no feel good. Because I don't have a house. I don't have clothes. I don't have nothing.," Leticia Ortiz said.

Friday morning, business owners and workers were able to go into the building to gather their belongings. Edwardo, who's a barber, told us in Spanish he's out of a job.

"Try to find another job," he said.

But there was some financial relief after four days.

"Today, we have $100 gift cards donated by Bethanny Frankel with her [BStrong] Initiative. It's $15,000 that she's donating to these families, which is gonna be between $100-300 per apartment," Councilwoman Pierina Sanchez said.

Building residents were at Sanchez's office Friday, picking up gift cards and getting help from her office.

"There's many families that don't have their wallets still, that don't have anything really, so this can at least help them to buy food, more clothes," she said.

As the investigation into the collapse continues, families say they are making do with what they have. They know it could have been worse.

"It's stressful with the kids and everything," Martinez said.

There are still families who have not been able to get back into the building to get clothes, documents and wallets. We're told they will be allowed back in sometime Friday evening for 20 minutes at a time to get what they need.

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