HARLEM, Manhattan -- Relatives are in shock after a family of six, including four children, perished in a fire that tore through their NYCHA apartment in Harlem early Wednesday morning.
Raven Reyes broke down in tears as she spoke about losing her mother, four siblings and a stepbrother in what officials say is the deadliest NYC fire since 2017.
"All my little brothers and sisters .. my mom and even my stepbrother passed away," Reyes said. "They were all good people."
The blaze consumed a fifth-floor apartment at the Frederick E. Samuel Apartments on the corner of Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and West 142nd Street shortly after 1:30 a.m.
Andrea Pollidore, 45, her four children — two girls, ages 11 and 6, and two boys, ages 8 and 3 — and her 33-year-old stepson, were pronounced dead at the scene.
Jean Belot, the father of the youngest victim, 3-year-old Elijah, spoke to PIX11 just hours after the loss of his young buddy.
"He was smart, a quick learner," Belot said. "Right now I’m just processing. I’m absorbing and processing. That’s all I can do."
Relatives remember Pollidore as a nurse, a kind neighbor and a survivor. The Harlem apartment was supposed to be a fresh start after the family lost it all in a 2013 fire in Brooklyn.
Pollidore even took in her 33-year-old stepson Mac Abdularaulph. He also died in the fire.
"She’s so full of energy, life, everything she’s so loving," said Maxine, a family friend. "Everyone loved that mom."
Three of the children attended PS 194. Grief counselors will be on hand at the school for students.AlertMe