Community raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for fire victims

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BELMONT -

Community leaders and organizations are working to provide some relief to surviving families of a Belmont fire last month that killed 13 people.

City Councilman Ritchie Torres stood alongside the father of fallen 28-year-old National Guard soldier Emmanuel Mensah as he provided updates on the progress made toward helping the surviving victims.

"We have raised about $300,000 to support the families," Torres said.

Torres thanked the community and local groups for working together to provide home assistance, immigration support and donations for the dozens of families affected by the Prospect Avenue fire.

Kwabena Mensah, Emmanuel's father, expressed his gratitude for the efforts from Torres to rename 187th Street and Prospect Avenue after his son. The younger Mensah moved to New York City from Ghana five years ago with the dream of always serving the United States. He rescued four people from the blaze.

The Catholic Charities organization will be distributing the $300,000 to the surviving victims.

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