Neighborhood Chatter: Basement Fire, Clown Death, Vegan Ice Cream Store Closes, NYC Virtual Hospitals

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Dozens Injured in Basement Fire Last Friday morning, 27 people were injured in an electrical fire on Water Street. Four people were brought to New York Downtown Hospital, firefighters said. According to, the fire at 55 Water St. occurred at about 9:45 a.m. The 54-story building recently restored power after Hurricane Sandy. All victims suffered smoke inhalation but were otherwise unharmed. Residents as well as a firefighter and a ConEd worker were injured. Harry Bridgwood, executive vice president of New Water Street, the building's management company, told DNAinfo that the fire was extinguished within several minutes. However, the FDNY said that there is still an investigation under way. Clown Dies During Thanksgiving Day Parade Robert Blasetti, 67, of Yonkers was following the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade route when he collapsed from a heart attack at Sixth Avenue and West 39th Street. Blasetti was dressed as a clown and was making balloon animals along with his wife, Irene. According to a witness, people in the crowds tried to pump Blasetti's chest. He was pronounced dead at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital. An NYPD employee, 58-year-old Charles Sutton, also suffered a heart attack and died during the parade. East Village Vegan Ice Cream Store Says Goodbye Vegan-friendly ice cream store Stogo scooped its last flavor on Sunday. Stogo shut down its East Village shop, located on East 10th Street between Second and Third Avenue, after a year of high rent. The store shared the news with costumers via Twitter. Anticipation of the decrease in winter sales forced owners to consider closing. Hurricane Sandy sped up the decision, a source told DNAinfo. "We were going to try to fundraise to move, but then Sandy happened and I didn't want to ask people to help move our shop when people were homeless and had lost everything," the source said. Stogo partners, who have been working together for four years, have not decided if the shop will open elsewhere at a later time or sell its product through outside vendors. NYC Hospitals Launch Virtual Doctor Visits Those sick with the flu have a small reason to rejoice. Earlier this month, Continuum Health Partners and its member hospitals launched a new program that would make primary and urgent care more accessible. The initiative, designed with the help of Teladoc, the country's largest telehealth provider, will offer physician assistance by phone or video. No more dragging yourself out of bed hacking and spewing to get that antibiotic! The telemedicine initiative is focused on New York City, but will later extend to neighboring regions. Patients can subscribe for a $30 annual membership and a $38 consultation fee for each use. Continuum intends the program to primarily be utilized when a member is unable to visit their doctor, not as a permanent substitution for office visits. Touch Screens Replace NYC Phone Booths City24/7 has a mission to make New York City more tech-savvy, starting in Union Square. The company premiered its first touch-screen kiosk at 12th Street and Broadway last Tuesday. Located in a phone booth, the kiosks are meant to replace the defunct stands. The kiosks feature screens provided by electronics manufacturer LG and 16 apps, including subway information, local events and maps of the neighborhood. The screens are free for users, although the company hopes that local businesses will pay to advertise on the kiosks. City24/7 worked with Victor Calise, commissioner of the Mayor's Office for People With Disabilities, to ensure that the kiosks were accessible to the blind and wheelchair users. Anticipating future power outages, the screens have a 48-hour backup battery. Compiled By Tatiana Baez

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