Migrants found living inside basement of Queens building; owner says he was trying to help

More than 50 migrants were being illegally housed inside an overcrowded and hazardous two-story building in Queens.

The NYC Department of Buildings and the FDNY found 14 bunk beds and 13 beds tightly packed in the cellar and first floor of Sarr's Wholesale Furniture at 132-03 Liberty Avenue in South Richmond Hill.

The owner told FOX 5 NY that the location had allegedly been converted into a living space for migrants. 

He said had 70 to 74 people living inside the quarters, but this number has not been confirmed. 

He said he brought them in to give them work.

Two-story mixed-use building located at 132-03 Liberty Avenue in Queens. 

A neighbor claims she had been calling 311 for weeks about the number of people living at the store and the large number of e-bikes in the backyard.

"I see bikes in the back. That's when I got alarmed," she said.

Cell phone video shows the inside of the building packed with beds and people inside.

There were so many people living in the basement that they had to sleep in shifts. 

"It's a big space, so we have bunk beds. Queen bunk beds, some twin bunk beds, just to make a space. You know, for everybody to fit. And we can have space to pray," the owner said. 

The backyard of the building had what appeared to be multiple delivery bikes and supplies.  

Inspectors said the spaces had no ventilation, natural light or enough space for the people sleeping there. 

Officials even found illegal plumbing work that had been done without permits.

The DOB has issued a full vacate order for the first floor and the cellar due to severe overcrowding and hazardous fire conditions. 

The landlord 132-02 Liberty Avenue Management Corporation has been slammed with two violations, according to the DOB. 

The people living inside the building were referred to New York City Emergency Management Department (NYCEM) for assistance. 

The city Emergency Management office, which has been operating the city's emergency shelter system for migrants, said it is assisting the now displaced tenants.