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Booker Drives Support for Brookdale Fire Victims

Mayor calls on public to rally around devastated families

Mayor Cory Booker is pleading for residents in Newark and beyond to rally around two families devastated by the , including three children, last Friday.

Booker, who visited surviving members of each family Sunday, vowed to support them through the

"Not only are they dealing with the loss of their children, they're worrying about how to get a change of clothing, a roof over their heads," he said, speaking publicly about the fire for the . "We want to try to take as many burdens off of them as possible."

are 2- and 3-year-old Javena and Javens Joseph, who lived in a rear apartment, as well as Nazir Blackstone, 17, Angela Williams, 5, and Shelton Freeman, 44, all of whom were found in the front apartment.

The Joseph parents, who Booker said are from Irvington, are staying with family members. The mother of Blackstone and Angela was delivering a baby at the time of the inferno and is expected to soon be released from the hospital, Booker said. He did not identify the three parents who lost their children in the blaze.

All five bodies were on the third floor of 33 Brookdale Ave. which was completely destroyed in the early-morning fire. The adjacent 31 Brookdale Ave., , was demolished late Friday.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, authorities said Monday.

Monetary and non-monetary donations for victims of the Brookdale blaze are being accepted through the Newark Firemen's Charity Fund. In hopes of boosting the amount of money raised, Booker has appealed to his more than one million Facebook and Twitter followers to contribute and said that he'd also be making a personal donation.

Fire officials did not disclose Monday how much has been raised so far.

"There are tremendous expenses right now that they have to meet as well as dealing with grief," he said, "and we're hoping those in Newark and beyond Newark frankly can show them love."

Click here for more information on how to donate or call 973-733-4311.

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TruthbeTold July 24, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Booker is a glory hog and not a leader Newark needs, I hope he enjoys his time in the media because next election I dont think anyone back this looser
Kelly Guerra July 24, 2012 at 03:16 PM
TruthbeTold - I agree with you 100% (there was a hint of sarcasm intended in my original comment)! I think Booker is eyeing a statewide office and, unfortunately, I think NJ voters will look at his persona on Twitter more then the reality of his ineffectiveness as Newark Mayor! I think Mayor Booker will use social media to engineer his way to NJ's next Senator in 2014!
TruthbeTold July 24, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Ok makes sense I thought you were another star follower. Booker is very phony, he likes to talk about the war on drugs in the US even though he cant control it in Newark, he likes to show he cares by being on twitter but when a cab driver gets killed and 2 girls in another issue he says nothing. He likes to say that he is a Democrat but when you sell off city resources and property plus make more money in speaches what "WE AS TAX PAYERS" pay you in salary you are no democrat. Take it from a republican dont fake what you are. He is just using newark as a steping stone to get to his next job, firing anyone that works for him in the process. If you talk to the average Newarker, he has done nothing noteworthly to help the city. Look at Bloomberg in NY at least you can call him a Mayor for good or bad. Mr Booker is no mayor just a Huckster that thinks he can be a celebrity and elevate his career. Well hope he is right and get the heck out of Newark
Kareema Jackson July 25, 2012 at 04:42 AM
Booker is neither a Democrat or a Republican. He is an opportunist for whatever affords him the biggest media buzz bang. Booker utilizes tragic fires or phony car crash "rescues" to keep his name in the spin. The act has grown stale and it is quite "nauseating." Who uses the misfortunes of people to hype themselves? It demonstrates a shallow character. Notice that Booker is very selective about what circumstances he comes forward on. There have been a series of recent shootings on the streets of Newark to which there was silence from the perpetually out-of-town Twitter King. But Booker came forward for the tragic fire because the story was picked up by national media. No one is more of a fame addict than Mr. Booker. He selectively capitalizes from the tragedies of Newarkers. For shame.
Kelly Guerra July 25, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Ironically, Booker was originally known as the "Crime Fighting Mayor" and received national attention for those efforts...which have bearly put a dent in the tragicly high crime rate in Newark! Now, he won't go anywhere near the crime issue!

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