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Inwood Building Ravaged by Fire to be Demolished

By Carla Zanoni | January 5, 2012 7:00am

INWOOD — An Inwood building ravaged by fire Tuesday night has been condemned and will be pulled down, sources said.

The building on 4945 Broadway, at the corner of West 207th Street, was ordered demolished by the Department of Buildings after an inspection Wednesday revealed the fire had compromised its stability, according to department sources.  

A safety structure was built above a sidewalk that wraps round the structure on Wednesday night in order to shore the building while the city waits to demolish it. 

City agency representatives from the Department of Buildings, Office of Emergency Management and the FDNY worked with business owners and the building’s landlord throughout the day to help them recover from the blaze.

Representatives from local elected officials, including City Councilmen Robert Jackson and Ydanis Rodriguez as well as State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, are also working to create an initiative to help.

“We are committed to helping the businesses find space, hopefully in their current location, once it is restored,” Elizabeth Lorris Ritter, community liaison for Espaillat, wrote on Facebook.

Inwood community members also rallied to support the small business owners, promising to help rebuild their establishments and help families affected. 

Marcela Xavier, owner of Bread and Yoga which was housed in the building, thanked the community for its support in a message posted on her studio's website. She asked for help finding new space.

"Your words of encouragement have continuously reminded me of possibilities," she wrote. "In times of tragedy and grief like this, it is easy to forget the power inherent in building a community. And I am honored to be part of this one."

Dichter Pharmacy owner Manny Ramirez also thanked residents for their support, as did Furry Fiends owner Amine Benmesbah. 

While the businesses reestablish themselves, pharmacy orders will be honored at Inwood RX at 4915 Broadway, according to Ramirez. Furry Fiends will accept calls for delivery orders at 646-315-0695.

A group of concerned residents called the Inwood Community Group was organized early Wednesday and plans to meet on Friday, Jan. 6 at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church Parish House at 20 Cumming St., at the corner of Seaman Avenue, from 5:30 p.m. to discuss how locals can help the victims.

Although originally scheduled to take place at Indian Road Cafe, interest in attending the meeting has been so great that the meeting had to be moved. 

In this weakness, we are even stronger,” wrote Ola Ahmad May on the group’s Facebook page.