Commonwealth Ave. fire victims meet with officials, organizations

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THE BRONX -

Victims of last month's fire at 1547 Commonwealth Ave. sat down with local officials and organizations Wednesday to find out what's next for them.

The Jan. 2 fire displaced at least eight families and injured 23 people.

The fire marshal explained Wednesday that because the fire was so intense and the building's structure was unstable, firefighters were unable to conduct primary searches for survivors. The fire department has spent weeks conducting the so-called searches for life, working to find a cause of the fire. Residents will not be allowed back inside until that is completed.

In the meantime, many residents say they still don't know how much, if any, of their belongings can be salvaged. They also don't have access to important documents they would need to present to apply for temporary housing.

Fire officials say they hope to have their searches and the investigation wrapped up by the weekend. The landlord would have to provide tenants with access to the building.

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