On Saturday, the community in Verona, Ont. came together to help the victims of a massive fire with a huge outpouring of support.
“Today I’m dropping off winter coats, hats, scarfs and clothing”, says Melissa Elliott.
Elliott is an area resident, who also works for South Frontenac Community Services. Elliott, along with many other area residents, dropped off donations at the Verona Free Methodist Church for the victims of a devastating fire at McMullen Manor.
All 30-residents are now homeless and left their homes in what they were wearing.
“Everybody wants to step up when they can”, says Elliott, “We are community. We all consider ourselves to be family.”
“I felt very compelled help them out”, says Linda Kreick, “We have plenty and they (the fire victims) have lost everything.” Kreick dropped off a bag of food.
McMullen Manor is a Kingston and Frontenac Housing Corporation building and was burnt to the ground by a massive blaze late Thursday night.
The fire department battled the flames for almost 12 hours.
The Verona Free Methodist Church sits next door to the fire scene and is doing its part to collect donations dropped off at their door.
A programme the church already runs – a free clothing store called Style Revival – came in handy for the victims on the night of the fire.
“Some of them (fire victims) were in their pajamas”, says Kielo Carlson, the coordinator of Style Revival, “Thank God we have the store downstairs, and they were able to get clothing. We’re just very humbled we can do this.”
The Ontario Fire Marshall is continuing to investigate the cause of the fire, including bringing in heavy equipment to sift through the rubble for clues on Saturday. The actual burnt structure was too unstable to physically enter.
“This was a large fire for the Township of South Frontenac … one of the biggest ones in several years”, says Chief Darcy Knott with South Frontenac Fire & Rescue.
According to Knott, the smoke alarms that alerted residents to the fire was the reason why all 30 residents in the building managed to get out safely.
“It’s a reminder to the community that smoke alarms certainly save lives”, says Knott, “And have a huge impact on the safety of individuals and their homes.”
Donations of clothing, household goods and cash donations, can also be dropped off at the Hartington Community Caring Centre and at South Frontenac Community Services in Sydenham, for the victims of the McMullen Manor fire.