EAST VILLAGE — The family of Nicholas Figueroa, one of two men killed in a massive gas explosion that decimated four buildings on Second Avenue last week, needs help to pay for his funeral.
The family has created a GoFundMe page that asks for $20,000 in donations to pay for Figueroa's memorial service and burial, and has already raised more than $13,000 from more than 150 donors.
“[The online fundraiser] was done because the funeral was too expensive,” said Figueroa’s cousin Annabel Lanza, who said one of his brothers set up the GoFundMe account. The family does not make a lot of money, she said, and “they are not working right now due to the tragedy.”
Funeral arrangements for Figueroa are still pending, Lanza said.
Figueroa was just leaving a date at Sushi Park, located at 121 Second Ave., shortly after 3 p.m. on March 26. when an explosion tore through the restaurant, triggering a massive fire and a building collapse. Crews pulled his body from the rubble three days later, officials said.
Donations will also be shared with the family of 26-year-old Moises Locon, who also died in the explosion, according to the website. Locon worked at the eatery, sources said. His family was not immediately available for comment.
The site is one of several online fundraisers set up to help victims of the explosion.
Figueroa’s family described the young man as a “loving and caring kid” who “wanted to live to the fullest” during a vigil near the site of the explosion Monday night.
Lanza remembered Figueroa as a “kind-hearted” person.
“He was genuinely nice, genuinely caring about everyone’s feelings…This is a boy that this world will miss because he's just nice,” she said.