JACKSON HEIGHTS — An open door and a trove of combustible materials helped fuel the massive fire that decimated the Bruson Building, sources said.
The news came as businesses that used the building on 37th Avenue, near 74th Street — many of who are Bangladeshi immigrants — struggled to pick up the pieces.
The business where the fire originated on April 21 was filled with combustible material and also left the door open, which allowed the blaze, sparked by an overloaded power strip to spread down long hallways, the source said.
More 200 firefighters battled the fire or hours, and were still trying to douse it the next day.
On Monday night the Jackson Heights Bangladeshi Business Association and the Alliance of South Asian American Labor, was held Monday evening to share the struggles of those who had offices in the 37th Avenue building.
The five-alarm fire broke out on the third floor of the building, and spread to other offices. The Department of Buildings has issued a full vacate order and businesses have been unable to return.
Zakaria Masud, 42, the president of the JHBBA, said he wants to raise awareness and find ways to help the dozens of business owners — 20 whom are Bangladeshi immigrants, he said.
"Everything they have has burned down," he said. "They have nothing."
Parviz Kazi has operated the Kakatua Agency, a tax and accounting firm, inside the Bruson Building for 22 years.
He lost everything in the fire and is trying to bounce back in a temporary space on 73rd Street.
Meanwhile, local officials are working to help impacted businesses bounce back.
The Department of Small Business Services and Councilman Danny Dromm are hosting a business recovery meeting on Thursday, May 8 for business displaced by the fire.
The meeting will be held at the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights, 37-06 77th St., and begins at 10 a.m.
There will be free services including legal and insurance assistance, and business owners are encouraged to bring any documents they have, including insurance papers and lease information, to receive help.