NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — More than 1,500 members of the NYPD were directly impacted by Superstorm Sandy, but had no choice but to get to work and help the city cope.

As 1010 WINS Carol D’Auria reported Monday, many, including police Captains’ Endowment Association president Roy Richter, live in Breezy Point. The home where he grew up was one of 111 homes that burned down during Sandy in the Queens neighborhood on the Rockaway peninsula.

1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reports

The only thing standing is the flagpole, and Richter and several other police union leaders hoisted an American flag Monday.

“It’s meant to symbolize that nobody’s giving up hope, and we’re going to rebuild, and we’re going to come back,” Richter said.

Katie Gallagher’s house also burned down, and she likewise wanted to rebuild.

“This is home, you know,” she said. “It’s been here since 1943.”

Now, a fund has been set up to help NYPD officers cope with the disaster as it has affected them.

Donations may be sent to:

New York Police Disaster Relief Fund
233 Broadway, Suite 1801
New York, NY 10279

The fund has been set up to give grants to NYPD officers if, for instance, their car was destroyed by the storm and they need to get another one so they can continue to work.

In addition to the Captains’ Endowment Association, four other police unions are participating in the disaster fund – the Policemen’s Benevolent Association, the Detectives’ Endowment Association, the Sergeants’ Benevolent Association, and the Lieutenants’ Benevolent Association.

The fire in Breezy Point broke out at the height of Superstorm Sandy Monday night. It took almost 200 firefighters to battle the blaze and the elements, CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu reported.

“We lost blocks of homes,” FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano said Tuesday. “The conditions that firefighters faced when they got here last night were really some of the worst conditions you could try to fight a fire in.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg compared the damage to a war zone.

“The area was completely leveled; chimneys and foundations were left of many of these homes,” Bloomberg said Tuesday. “It’s very sad they lost their homes. The good news is there’s no fatalities, thank God.”

The home of U.S. Rep. Bob Turner (R-Queens) was among those destroyed. He said in a statement that, along with many other Breezy Point residents, he had lost his home. He expressed gratitude that he and his family were safe after the destructive storm.

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