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Barrie community rallies to help those affected by apartment fire

Apartment building left destroyed after a fire broke out late Monday.
Apartment building left destroyed after a fire broke out late Monday. Hannah Jackson / Global News

The Barrie community has rallied to offer support to those affected by a devastating apartment fire earlier this week.

The apartment fire, which destroyed a building in Barrie’s Allandale community on Monday night, displaced all 25 units, leaving 70 residents homeless.

Shortly after the fire was extinguished, a GoFundMe account was made in order to raise funds for the victims. Similarly, many people in the community were looking for information about where they could donate to those in need.

In order to accept these donations, Barrie City Hall opened their rotunda.

Donations of bedding, clothing, pet supplies and hygiene products being collected at Barrie City Hall for those affected by a devastating apartment fire.
Donations of bedding, clothing, pet supplies and hygiene products being collected at Barrie City Hall for those affected by a devastating apartment fire. Hannah Jackson / Global News

Since Monday, people from Barrie and the surrounding area have shown their overwhelming kindness and generosity.

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READ MORE: Barrie apartment fire leaves residents of 25 units homeless

In an email, senior communications adviser at Access Barrie, Scott LaMantia, said that while it’s hard to quantify how many items have been donated, the city has run out of storage space.

“We are completely amazed by the outpouring of support from our community.” A large storage room, 18-foot truck and other storage areas in city hall have been completely filled with generous donations.

The city is now directing people to donate to the GoFundMe, as they no longer have the storage capacity to accept any more donations. They are now working with the Barrie Municipal Non-Profit Housing Corporation to distribute the items to the affected residents.

Arif Khan is the municipal councillor for Ward 8 in Barrie, where the fire occurred. In a Twitter post on Thursday morning, Khan said he is amazed by the generosity of the community. Khan urges those wanting to help to donate to the GoFundMe campaign.

Others in the community, like Julie Miller, are taking a different approach to help. She is offering her time and talents to help those affected to rebuild their lives. Miller is a photographer who has offered to take free family photos for anyone who lost theirs in the fire.

“I’ve been trying to think of something I could do to help those affected, putting myself in their position. It broke my heart to think of all the memories they will never get to see again — baby photos, wedding, family. Although I can’t replace those, I’d be honoured to donate my weekends and be a part of creating new memories.”

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Miller has a Facebook page dedicated to her photography. Anyone interested in having new photos taken is able to contact her there.