HOLYOKE, Mass (WWLP) – A deadly fire on New Year’s Day has forever changed the Holyoke community. Three people died as a result of the fire that destroyed an apartment building on North East Street.
Dozens of families were forced to find someplace else to live. The Salvation Army in Holyoke told 22News the outpouring of support from this community has been overwhelming. Since Sunday, they’ve collected thousands of items for victims who lost everything.
Captain Miguel Garcas from the Salvation Army in Holyoke said, “They are receiving the donations for the physical things the people need at this moment.” Items like children’s clothes, toiletries, sneakers and dishware.”
A GoFundMe page raised more than $50,000 in just days. The Holyoke Mayor’s Chief of Staff Rory Casey told 22News the Mayor’s office is seeking advice on how best to distribute the funds. Mayor Alex Morse said permanent housing has been found for 24 of the 25 families burned out of their homes.
A process is being developed to distribute the donated items to the families. Holyoke is also working with the Columbia consulate in Boston to help send fire victim Jorge Munoz ‘ body back to Columbia for burial.