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East Harlem victims still homeless after blast destroyed their buildings

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EAST HARLEM (PIX11) – Victims are still trying to recover from last week’s East Harlem explosion, and many have a long way to go

The NYC Office of Emergency Management said 42 households have been placed in temporary apartments with the Red Cross as well as temporary (furnished) apartments provided by DHS’s non-profit partners.

“It’s very frustrating. We lost everything, so we got to start all over,” said Lisa Connaughton

The East Harlem explosion took everything from Lisa Connaughton except she said the clothes on her back.

Apart from the buildings that fell – the NYC Department of Buildings  sai as of Tuesday partial vacates remain in effect at 89 116th St., 91-93 116th St., 1642 and 1648-1652 Park Avenue.

This is because of compromised exits and fire safety issues. There is a full vacate order at 95 116th St.

Work continues at the site on Park Avenue, but victims like  Connaughton don’t see any end game in site.

“I feel like I’m homeless,” said Connaughton.

DOB also said that many of the vacate orders are also due to the lack of building-wide essential services such as electric, water, gas, heat, etc.

A Service Center for victims is still open at La Marqueta on Park and 113th St., and monetary donations are accepted at the Mayor’s Fund, according to OEM.

Essential services need to be restored and fire safety systems need to be in working order for the vacates to be lifted, according to the NYC Department of Buildings.