HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Twenty-five families lost their homes in a deadly fire that destroyed a Holyoke apartment building on New Year’s Day. At least two people were killed in the fire, with one person having jumped to her death, and another having been found dead inside the building.
Along with many of their belongings, food was among the items that surviving residents had to leave behind. To help them out in this difficult time, the Salvation Army is providing food to assist them.
The folks at the Salvation Army were also at the fire helping with donations and distributing food for the volunteers and the families, and they opened their doors at 10 Monday morning for the victims of the fire.
“We’re going to make bags for them, so they can take with them. We’re going to have rice, beans, deserts, apple sauce, things like that. So they can take them wherever they’re staying,” Denise Rodriguez of the Salvation Army said.
The Salvation Army is still looking for donations of several items including toiletries, men’s and women’s underwear, and pillows.
This is one of several ways that people in the Holyoke community are stepping-up to help those who lost so much in the fire. A GoFundMe page has been set up by the mayor’s office to accept monetary donations. Mayor Alex Morse says that they hope to raise $100,000. As of Monday morning, they have already raised more than $14,000. Meanwhile, the Kelly School was turned into a temporary donation center on Sunday, where Holyoke residents and others in nearby communities dropped off items to help the victims.
On Sunday, Mary Nathan of the American Red Cross told 22News that the landlord of the building has already placed some of the tenants in new apartments, while others are being housed temporarily in a hotel.