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Red Cross Helping Families Displaced By Deadly Bronx Fire, Borough Leaders Set Up Task Force To Assist Survivors

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The focus after Sunday's deadly Bronx fire is turning to efforts to aid the survivors. Borough officials announced assistance and recovery programs for those effected and the mayor's office established a fund.

Most who escaped the blaze spent the night in hotel rooms. Local leaders and politicians have set up a task force to connect survivors with emergency services and emotional support, CBS2's Natalie Duddridge reported Monday.

The Red Cross turned Tapco School on Folin Street into an emergency center providing displaced families with food and supplies.

"I did not sleep. I was crying in my sleep. I was shaking," said Tyesena Jacobs, who hoped to get inside her apartment Monday to retrieve medication.

Jacobs was overcome with grief at the sight of her building's smashed windows.

PHOTOS: On The Scene Of Deadly Fire At Bronx Apartment Building

"Maybe we would have died in there with the smoke," Jacobs said. "It was really, really bad. It was really bad, I couldn't take it more. I dropped on my knees and started to pray to God, 'God, please help us!'"

Jacobs said a firefighter suddenly appeared through the smoke and brought her family down in an elevator. She couldn't stop thinking about those who didn't make it out.

"I'm so sorry for the people that lost their children and their mothers, because we all are one, and for this to happen, it's horrible," said Jacobs.

WATCH: Bronx Officials Update On Relief Efforts For Fire Victims

Around 11 a.m. Sunday, Stephan Beabogui asked his wife what was burning. She didn't respond.

"I said, 'No, something's burning.' So when I opened the door, the hallway, I could not even see where I'm going. So I close the door, about to go and grab my wife, and we started walking down from the fourth floor all the way to the last floor in the dark and with the smoke," said Beabogui.

The couple got to safety, then Beabogui heard people inside screaming.

"When I came outside, and people were opening the window, they were crying for help. By that time, the fire people were here," he said.

Frantz Sannon frantically searched for his 75 and 76-year-old parents, who were living on the fourth floor. He checked area hospitals before finding them at the Red Cross shelter down the block.

"Oh man, I'm just overwhelmed right now. I was thinking of the worst," he said.

Good Samaritans arrived throughout the morning to donate supplies.

"It's very cold. A lot of families lost their whole family, a lot of children are involved," one said.

"We were dropping off clothes, jackets, boots, sneakers, baby food," said another.

"People that's in need, we're here for them," another good Samaritan said.

Some tenants were able to retrieve their pets and essentials Sunday night. They boarded MTA buses to nearby hotels, where they are staying indefinitely.

The Red Cross also has an emergency site for families at Monroe College. It's providing warm meals and other essentials from noon to 8 p.m. Monday.

New York City has set up a fund and collection site for donations.

Click here for resources if you were impacted or would like to help survivors.

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