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Residents Displaced By Queens Apartment Fire In April On The Verge Of Being Kicked Out Of City-Funded Hotels

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It's been more than two months since fire devastated a large apartment building in Queens, leaving more than 200 families without homes.

Now, those residents say they are on the verge of being displaced again.

They chanted "Neighbors united will never be divided" in the shadows of the place they used to call home.

They were divided and displaced on April 6 when a large apartment building on 34th Avenue and 89th Street in Jackson Heights went up in flames.

"It was terrifying," former resident Angie Espino told CBS2's Nick Caloway.

"There was a lot of people crying, running, screaming," former resident Ingrid Perez said.

The fire left more than 200 families homeless and scattered all over New York City, missing Jackson Heights and missing home.

David Rodriguez is crashing with family in New Jersey.

"It's been tough with the pandemic, and now we got hit with this," he said.

Many of the families have been living in hotels, funded by the city, but they've been told by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development that they have to leave by June 20, Father's Day.

"Because to displace us a week before school officially ends and the graduations come, on Father's Day, is just cruel, and it's clearly not what we deserve," former resident Andrew Sokolof Diaz said.

The former residents are asking City Hall to step in and extend their hotel stay so they can find adequate housing.

Perez, 18, is eight months pregnant. She's living in a hotel near LaGuardia Airport for now.

"Um, right now I'm not really sure where we're gonna go," she said.

Thursday marked 10 days until the residents will be forced from their hotel rooms.

Residents are asking for that deadline to be pushed back to September.

CBS2's Nick Caloway contributed to this report.

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