close More than 70 migrants sleeping in this New York City basement Video

More than 70 migrants sleeping in this New York City basement

Living in a cramped basement below a furniture store in Queens only half of the migrants can sleep there at one time. (Obtained by New York Post)

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A second building in New York City has been raided for having been illegally converted into a shelter for West African migrants who were living in cramped conditions, with both buildings belonging to the same owner, according to a report.

On Wednesday, city officials sweeped a two-story commercial building on East Kingsbridge Road in Fordham where they found 34 beds on the first floor and 11 beds in the cellar tightly packed together,” an FNFY spokesperson told Fox News Digital. 

Inspectors also found extension cords, e-bikes, space heaters and hotplates inside the Bronx building, the New York City Dept. of Buildings (DOB) told Fox 5. Lithium batteries caused a record number of fires, injuries and deaths in New York City last year, according to the FDNY.

The outside of a store where migrants were living illegally

The forme phone store where the migrants were living. (Google Maps)


The DOB issued a full vacate order for the store due to the hazardous life-threatening conditions, lack of natural light and ventilation, and severe overcrowding. The department also issued two violations to the landlord for failure to maintain the building and for occupying the building contrary to city records, The New York Post reports. 

The store, located at 305 East Kingsbridge Rd., appeared to have previously housed a cell phone store and is situated just a few blocks from Fordham University.

Video from inside the building shows a room with tightly packed bunk beds side by side divided by a narrow aisle.  

The tenants, who are mostly from Senegal, told Fox 5 they were paying $300 a month to stay there but were ordered to gather their belongings and leave.

Several men were seen carting suitcases out of the building as NYPD officers watched on. One man told Fox 5 that he didn’t know where he would sleep Wednesday night. Some men were seen getting on buses and were transported to city-run shelters.

A man being interviewed after his store was found to be housing migrants

Ebou Sarr is listed as the landlord of both buildings, according to city records. (Fox 5)


The FDNY said that a slew of other violations were handed down for the buildings’ dangerous conditions, including a lack of emergency exit signs, failure to produce portable fire extinguisher records and failure to maintain a fire alarm system and keeping exits clear.

The sweep came just two days after a building in Queens was found to have also been converted into a makeshift hostel, cramming at least 74 migrants into the first floor and cellar of a furniture store. 

Ebou Sarr, 47, is listed as the owner of both buildings, Fox 5 reports, citing city records. 

The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) also issued a full vacate order for the store, called Sarr’s Wholesale Furniture, which is located at 132-02 Liberty Ave. in Richmond Hill.

Migrants living in a basement in New York City

A general view of the basement in Queens where Senegalese migrants were being housed,Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. Approximately 74 migrants were found living in the basement where the landlord reportedly collected $300 per migrant, per month. (Paul Martinka for New York Post)


Sarr told Pix11 News on Monday he was charging the migrants $300 a month to live there.

He said most of the migrants are from Senegal and that he was providing them with breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Cellphone video from inside the building showed the African men in a bright white room full of beds with a low ceiling. The beds are placed close together with limited walking room — a single narrow lane runs through the room with beds on either side. Another video showed a similar room full of bunk beds.

Michael Dorgan is a writer for Fox News Digital and Fox Business.

You can send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @M_Dorgan.

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