Ramon Ortiz recently talked about his hassle when he moved to the land of the opportunities from the Dominica Republic. This was back in the 1980s, and things didn’t make sense for him first. He used to work as a construction worker in New York. He finally managed to establish a sense of stability when he acquired a five-bedroom apartment. He says that the apartment was located in Hamilton Heights, a quiet neighborhood located near Upper Manhattan. The 66-year-old man was talking during a Spanish interview. He said that the apartment was spacious for his family that included his wife, three grandchildren as well as his daughter. He says that he used to pay only $1387 every month for rent. Other than affordability, he remembers that the six-story building also had a sense of community. Most of the tenants in this apartment were of Dominican descent. However, this is the case no more as everything descended to chaos on Friday afternoon. The building was burned to ashes, and the cause of the fire is yet to be identified. New York City Fire Department chief James Leonard confirmed that they had responded to a fire at 565 West 144th Street. Mr. Leonard said that while no one died during the incidence, a police officer and a tenant had been rushed to a nearby hospital for smoke inhalation. He further revealed that seven firefighters from his department had sustained minor injuries.
At the moment, only one tenant remain unaccounted for. The tenant lived on the sixth floor of the building. The chief said that since the fire had subdued, his men would enter the building to see whether the tenant was left in his apartment. He said that his men believe that the person is in the building. The incident began at around 3 p.m. on Friday and attracted close to 250 firefighters. The winds in the area further escalated the situation causing the fires to spread rapidly. Tenants were allowed into the building on Saturday to stare at what they used to own before the fire. Mr. Ortiz said that he had lost everything except his family. He said that he would rebuild the rest. He said that when he was leaving the building, he only took the precious items including his United States visa. He lamented that he was a hardworking man who had to survive as a homeless man now. He said that he had not discussed the situation with anyone yet.