Human Services, Nassau Inn, Olives Bakery Help Princeton Fire Victims

The House of Cupcakes this morning. A fire broke out in the building around 1 a.m.
41 residents on Witherspoon St were displaced by the fire that started at the House of Cupcakes.

Residents who needed shelter in the wake of the fire at the House of Cupcakes on Witherspoon Street were all provided with shelter the night of the fire, officials confirmed. Emergency management staff and police from Princeton were able to coordinate rooms with the Nassau Inn on Palmer Square.

More than 40 people were displaced by the fire that broke out about 1 .am. yesterday. The fire spread to other buildings and affected six apartments.

Olives provided free lunch for the fire victims and the Nassau Inn let the victims stay in their dining area while they waited for more information, Princeton Human Services Executive Director Elisa Neira said.

“Yesterday we all received news that those who lived in Apartment 1-5 were able to go back to their apartments either today or tomorrow. All the residents were able to secure a place to stay, either with friends or family members, until they are able to get back to their homes,” Neira said. “The residents of apartment 6,  which is completely unlivable, are staying with family members. We are working closely with them to get them emergency aid such as clothing and figure out housing.”

A drop off center for clothing has not been set up yet. Planet Princeton will post more information on how residents can help the fire victims as it becomes available. Neira said she is staying in close contact with the fire victims and will alert the community of needs that may arise.

Thecause of the fire is still under investigation. Fire officials have ruled our arson.


  1. This fire displaced 41 people in 6 apartments. That’s almost 7 people per apartment. Where was Princeton Human Services when those residents had to accept such crowded housing?

    1. If a similar fire were ever to take place in the building wherein Cafe 44 is located, that number of residents displaced would be much higher. Princeton Human Services as well as the fire department, routinely turn a blind eye to the overcrowded, tenement -like conditions in which many residents (mainly immigrant families,) are living.

      1. I’m curious as to what you think Human Services or the fire department should do about it. Send them all to live in the Nassau Inn permanently?

        1. SFB raises interesting questions. As withac says, Human Services and the fire department are supposed to monitor over-crowding but instead turn a blind eye. Is this a good thing? Should people who can’t afford safe, dignified housing be allowed to live in unsafe, undignified conditions? What about the impact of overcrowding on neighbors and their safety? I have long thought that Princeton as a municipality should provide affordable single-room-occupancy housing for people who come without their families to work in Princeton. And, to the extent that the University hires immigrant laborers (or “hires” them through out-sourcing), it should contribute! The perfect place? The former Valley Road School: one classroom could probably contain three or four single bedrooms with windows plus common facilities.

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