NEW YORK -- At least two major businesses stepped up to help residents displaced after an explosion tore through two buildings in Manhattan’s East Village on Thursday afternoon.
The posh Standard Hotel in the East Village offered free three-night stays to anyone who lived in or near the 2nd Avenue buildings gutted by the seven-alarm fire.
Our hearts go out to those affected by the fire. If you live btwn 119-125 2nd Ave, swing by w/ proof of address & your 3 nt stay is on us.
— The Standard (@standardEV) March 26, 2015
On Friday, hotel manager Kenan Jones was at the Red Cross, seeking more ways the company could provide help beyond lodging, an employee at the Standard told The Huffington Post by phone.
Car-hailing service Uber, usually known for jacking up prices during surges of demand for its drivers, made all rides from the East Village free Thursday evening.
All rides from East Village/2nd Ave area are free. Allow extra time for your driver to navigate, as roads may be closed. Stay safe.
— Uber NYC (@Uber_NYC) March 26, 2015
Uber did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.
Abigail Adams, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross, told HuffPost that 79 adults and one child registered for help with the organization overnight, because they lived in one of the destroyed or surrounding buildings. Adams said she expects that number to grow.
Case workers were working with families in need Friday morning at a library on East 10th Street.
The explosion, which occurred in the basement of 121 Second Ave., left 19 people injured. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the blast appears to be gas-related.
UPDATE: March 30 -- On St. Mark's Place, a block away from the fire, Café Orlin said it would offer free meals to any residents who lost their homes.
"It's just heartbreaking," Paul Kennedy, the lunch bistro's manager, told HuffPost. "It's nice seeing the East Village come together to support these people who have lost so much."
Christopher Mathias contributed to this report.
If you know of any other businesses or organizations stepping up to help victims of the East Village fire, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.