Memorial held to honor lives lost 34 years ago in Happy Land Social Club fire

This takes place every year and is organized by Community Board 6 to commemorate those who died that fateful morning in March of 1990.

Heather Fordham and Adolfo Carrion

Mar 25, 2024, 10:01 PM

Updated 20 days ago

Share:

A memorial was held on Monday night to honor the 87 people who died in a fire at the Happy Land Social Club in West Farms.
Families of the victims came together at the Happy Land Monument to honor their loved ones. The remembrance takes place every year and is organized by Community Board 6 to commemorate those who died in March 1990.
Videos from News 12 archives show the aftermath of the fire that took place on Southern Boulevard. Many who were in the social club were members of the Honduran community celebrating Carnival that night.
Fire investigators deemed the fire an arson and police arrested and charged Julio Gonzalez for igniting gasoline on the club after getting into an argument with his ex-girlfriend who worked there.
One man who was the cousin of one of the fire victims and new multiple of the other victims recalls the moment when he saw the club in flames.
"Three o'clock in the morning I came, when I came that day... I thought this was going to be happy," said cousin Franco Mena.
Later investigations revealed that the social club had a number of fire code violations, leading the Department of Buildings to crack down on illegal social clubs citywide.


More from News 12
2:05
Community advocates say they'll call for changes in aftermath of NYPD's decision in Kawaski Trawick case

Community advocates say they'll call for changes in aftermath of NYPD's decision in Kawaski Trawick case

1:47
STORM WATCH: Scattered strong storms overnight in New York City

STORM WATCH: Scattered strong storms overnight in New York City

0:25
Police: Man who punched 9-year-old girl at Grand Central Terminal arrested

Police: Man who punched 9-year-old girl at Grand Central Terminal arrested

0:28
Israel hails success in blocking Iran’s unprecedented attack. G7 democracies condemn attack

Israel hails success in blocking Iran’s unprecedented attack. G7 democracies condemn attack

0:43
NYPD: Victims identified, arrest made in Fordham crash that killed 2

NYPD: Victims identified, arrest made in Fordham crash that killed 2

1:22
FDNY: Cement truck overturns on Cross Bronx Expressway entrance ramp in West Farms

FDNY: Cement truck overturns on Cross Bronx Expressway entrance ramp in West Farms

1:40
Demonstrators outside Kings Plaza Mall push for changes to immigration policy

Demonstrators outside Kings Plaza Mall push for changes to immigration policy

1:27
NYPD deploys resources to places of worship amid increased Middle East tensions

NYPD deploys resources to places of worship amid increased Middle East tensions

1:27
Lickety Split Ice Cream in City Island to mark 20 years in business

Lickety Split Ice Cream in City Island to mark 20 years in business

0:35
2 men arrested, accused in Fordham jewelry store armed robbery

2 men arrested, accused in Fordham jewelry store armed robbery

2:04
CDC: Most women do not get a mammogram because of financial difficulties

CDC: Most women do not get a mammogram because of financial difficulties

0:58
Police: 3 New York City residents arrested for organized retail theft at New Jersey mall

Police: 3 New York City residents arrested for organized retail theft at New Jersey mall

0:32
MTA police: Man punched 9-year-old girl in face at Grand Central Terminal

MTA police: Man punched 9-year-old girl in face at Grand Central Terminal

1:41
Street vendors on Fordham Road say rise in summonses is making it difficult to make a living

Street vendors on Fordham Road say rise in summonses is making it difficult to make a living

1:32
NYPD: Crash in Fordham leaves 2 men dead

NYPD: Crash in Fordham leaves 2 men dead

1:39
What you need to know about this weekend's L train closure

What you need to know about this weekend's L train closure

0:22
Police: 14-year-old girl from Soundview reported missing

Police: 14-year-old girl from Soundview reported missing

1:38
Community baby shower in Brownsville aims to help underprivileged moms

Community baby shower in Brownsville aims to help underprivileged moms

1:35
CDC: Measles could lose 'elimination status' amid uptick across the U.S.

CDC: Measles could lose 'elimination status' amid uptick across the U.S.

2:12
Family in mourning after loved one fatally struck by car in Concourse Village hit-and-run

Family in mourning after loved one fatally struck by car in Concourse Village hit-and-run