Church gathers donations for residents displaced by East Harlem - New York News

Church gathers donations for residents displaced by East Harlem blast

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MyFoxNY.com photo/Liz Dahlem MyFoxNY.com photo/Liz Dahlem
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Boxes filled with donations kept coming up the stairs to New Beginning International Ministries in East Harlem.

"I donated some clothes, toiletries, people in need, we need to help them," said Dianne Manago, who drove from Brooklyn to help.

Volunteers have been busy folding clothes and organizing the church on East 118th Street and 3rd Avenue. This is where all the donations will be kept for those who lost everything.

"We have here men's and boys', girls', babies' shoes, we have toys, blanket sheets anything you need for a home," said AnnMarie Cruz, a church member.

Investigators found a gas leak in a gas main on Park Avenue, adjacent to the site on the deadly blast. The NTSB determined an 8-inch cast iron and plastic main between East 116th and 117th Streets failed a pressure test, exposing the leak. But it is still unclear what ignited the explosion.

It was a time for prayer and reflection, one week after the deadly blast. Jose Rodriguez lost his friend George Amadeo. He was with his dog inside one of the buildings when it was leveled in the explosion.

Pastor Dominick Reyes said the church will open its doors to the community while it rebuilds.

"Anything that they would request, especially a heart, an ear, a word of compassion, if they need a place to lay down, you're welcome," he said.

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