No Return in Sight for Tenants and Businesses Displaced by Mulberry Street Fire
Months after the deadly fire at 78 Mulberry Street, displaced tenants – residential and commercial – are still waiting for renovations to begin.
The two-alarm fire broke out at 78 Mulberry Street just before 4:00am on April 15. Roughly one hundred firefighters responded to extinguish the flames, which reportedly spread from the fifth floor. The inferno claimed the lives of a 91-year-old mother and her 52-year-old autistic son.
The blaze itself, and the response, caused extensive fire and water damage, rendering the building uninhabitable. The city issued vacate orders; residents were displaced and two longtime Chinatown businesses shuttered.
The past few months have seen crews removing debris, yet no word on the rebuilding effort. The delay prompted Ewa Trading Company, which specializes in traditional Chinese herbal medicines and herbs, to operate temporarily out of a shutted Vietnamese restaurant a few stores North at 86 Mulberry. K & K Discount, which has also been a neighborhood staple for decades, resorted to selling limited household products in front of their shuttered store and posted a sign vowing to return.