Community rallies to help fire victims

Tonjia Rolan

Officials and staff from 13 local and area organizations converged on the Lighthouse Mission Wednesday evening armed with phone cards, toothbrushes, clothing, hotel vouchers and food for the victims of Wednesday’s fire.

Aid workers did more than address food and shelter issues, however. They faced challenging questions such as how to replace destroyed contact lenses, how to help victims apply for lost birth certificates and driver’s licenses and what to do with displaced pets.

Erinn Burch of the United Way said Wednesday’s meeting was designed to help meet families most immediate needs and was the first step in a long process. Seven families were placed in hotels Wednesday night.

Alysia Dimas, whose apartment burned Wednesday, said, “They’re taking really good care of us.”