East Village blast victims’ date meets his parents

Written By kom nampuldu on Selasa, 31 Maret 2015 | 18.18

East Village blast victim Nicholas Figueroa couldn't wait to introduce his new gal pal to his parents, but when they finally did meet Monday, it was to share tears.

He had been on a date with Teresa Galarce, 23, at a sushi restaurant on Second Avenue last week when a gas explosion ripped through the building, killing him and another man.

"Honestly, we were talking about you guys, your family," Garlace told Figueroa's parents, Ana and Nixon, recalling her last moments with their 23-year-old son at the Sushi Park restaurant.

Garlace said Nicholas was excitedly telling her he wanted her to meet them.

"We had just gotten the receipt, and we were talking about what we should tip," Garlace tearfully told the parents at their East Harlem home. "We were laughing, and then I remember a big bang."

She hugged them as Nixon Figueroa said, "Thank God you are alive."

"The reason he went out is because he liked you a lot, and he wanted romance," the dad told her. "He wanted someone to love him and hold him, just like me and his mother do. Unfortunately, it turned out the wrong way."

Ana Figueroa said she met Garlace because "I wanted to know what happened in his last minutes."

"She said she was sitting with my son across the table, and they were talking [about us]," Ana recalled.

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The family said they took comfort that Nicholas' body wasn't mangled in the blast, which is alleged to have been ignited by gas lines illegally hooked up in the building.

At a vigil for Figueroa at Second Avenue and St. Marks Place Monday night, his brother lauded officers who took part in the rescue operation.

"Thank you to everyone here who helped look for my brother," Neal Figueroa said. "Thank you for never giving up on us. Give yourselves all a round of applause for doing everything you could to find my brother."

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office could convene a grand jury within weeks, a law-enforcement source told The Post.

"This is going to be a slow, methodical investigation. We will be talking to everybody — witnesses, the contractor, the plumbers and landlord, gas experts — to see if there was criminal negligence," the source said.

Additional reporting by Jamie Schram

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