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Online Fundraising Campaign For Family Of East Village Blast Victim Raises $20K

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- When the family of one of the East Village explosion victims posted online that they were struggling to pay for his funeral, donations started pouring in.

Hundreds of people have donated to the GoFundMe page honoring Nicholas Figueroa, many from one building on West 81st Street, where the 23-year-old victim's father worked as a handyman for years.

Margie Burger, a longtime tenant, said Nicholas Figueroa Sr. called her this week.

Online Fundraising Campaign For Family Of East Village Blast Victim Raises $20K

"What he really wants is that people don't forget his son and that they respect him," she told WCBS 880's Alex Silverman.

Figueroa was one of two people killed in Thursday's blast and fire that leveled three buildings on Second Avenue near East Seventh Street.

Figueroa was a bowling alley worker who had gone on a date to Sushi Park. His date survived the explosion.

Another body found in the rubble is believed to be 26-year-old Moises Locon, a busboy at the restaurant.

Moises Locon, Nicholas Figueroa
Moises Locon and Nicholas Figueroa (Family photo/Facebook)

As of late Wednesday morning, the GoFundMe page had received $20,095 in donations.

Burger said it's no wonder support has poured in for the Figueroas: They are a generous family, she said.

"That's what it is," she said. "This is respect for Nick and who he is."

Nicholas' brother wrote on GoFundMe that the money will be shared with Locon's family.

Authorities are still investigating the blast. City officials suspect leaking natural gas was the source of the explosion, which sparked a raging blaze that took hundreds of firefighters to quell.

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