ENFIELD-- The community is rallying together as two families wait to learn what started a deadly duplex fire on South River Street, and for the four victims to be identified.
The Hazardville fire department, along with Enfield's Social Services Department, is collecting money to distribute to the families in order to help them back on their feet. "We're looking at needing money to continue to help them to stay in a hotel and to help with first month’s rent and the cost to establish a new home," said Pam Brown, director of social services for the town of Enfield.
On Wednesday, officials with the American Red Cross provided immediate relief, but more aid will be needed to help those displaced in the long term.
The Enfield Food Shelf, a local food pantry, will become a focal point for the donation collections, according to town officials. The Enfield Food Shelf has partnered with the Enfield Social Services Department to allow people to donate money, clothes and other supplies to the families.
However, the Social Services Department says monetary donations are preferred. "That can be transferred into lodging or any food or warm clothing they need," said Brown.
104.1 WMRQ-FM hosts "Fisch in the Morning" and Amy Grey broadcast their show from the Enfield town green Thursday morning in an effort to raise money for the displaced families.
"We said, what can we do? This just happened, we didn't know if there a fund set-up, so if we just go out there, and collect money, we will just donate it," said Grey.
The radio DJs raised around $1,000 in a matter of hours from many who went to the town green to donate after hearing the call for help on the radio airwaves.
"Let's just help the people of Connecticut step up, and deliver the money these people need so badly," said Fisch in the Morning.
Laurie Johnson lived in the duplex at 68 South River St., in the house where it's feared four members of her extended family have died.
Mary LaPane--the single mother of two boys who lived on the other side of the duplex at 70 South River St.--will also need the help.
"She has absolutely nothing--absolutely nothing," said Krista Conway, Mary's next-door neighbor. Conway has reached out to stores such as Cosco, Panera Bread and Ruby Tuesday to see if they would assistant
"I know Mary does have a couple of boys that would love Santa to come," Conway said.
If you want to help the families impacted from Wednesday's fire, drop off or mail those monetary donations to the following address:
Enfield Social Services
100 High St.
Enfield, CT 06082
For more information from Enfield Social Services, call 860-253-6395.
People can also make donations to Enfield Food Shelf and note that it's for the fire relief fund. Enfield Food Shelf is located at the following address:
Enfield Food Shelf
96 Alden Ave.
Enfield, CT 06082