HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Nearly one hundred people are homeless Monday nightbecause of an early morning apartment fire.
Holyoke Fire Captain Anthony Cerruti told 22News the cause of the massive, early morning fire will most likely remain “undetermined.”
Capt. Cerruti said there are too many factors that could have contributed, but he can tell us for sure, the fire started on the fourth floor porch.
The fire forced 81 residents out of this apartment at 115 Elm Street. All the residents got out safely. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries but Capt. Cerruti said they are recovering just fine.
22News spoke with one resident about waking up at 4:00 in the morning to intense flames, shooting through the roof.
“People are crying. People are devastated. The whole fourth, third, and second floors are all burnt. I have no shoes. I just ran out the door, but hey thank god, we are all alive,” said Hilary Toro of Holyoke
Another resident had just moved in here about 8 months ago. Anthony Wilson of Holyoke said, “Just I got my phone, and I just got dressed. The fireman was right outside my door and directed me right downstairs to get out of the building as soon as possible.”
The Pioneer Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross is helping these families. They’ve set up a temporary shelter at the War Memorial at 310 Appleton Street.
“The hope is that everybody will be able to transition out of the shelter into some permanent housing, as soon as possible,” said Mary Nathan of the Red Cross. “We are working with some landlords in the area and the Board of Health in the town to see if anyone has any property.”
Also, the United Congregational Church is accepting donations for the victims forced out of their homes due to the fire.
According to a news release sent to 22News, Mayor Alex Morse is asking local residents to consider donating clothes and household items at the United Congregational Church at Rebekah’s Closet on 300 Appleton Street in Holyoke.
The church is working with the Red Cross to accept donations from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00p.m., Monday through Friday until June 27th.
For more information about the donation site, please contact the United Congregational Church at (413) 532-1483 or the Holyoke Mayor’s Office at (413) 322-5510.