Community rallies around people displaced by holiday fires
WINNIPEG -- The community is rallying around the families that lost their homes after two holiday fires ripped through apartment buildings on Agnes Street and a Furby Street.
MP Leah Gazan and MLA Lisa Naylor put out a call for donations for the more than 30 people who were displaced because of the two fires.
On Christmas Day a fire broke out in an apartment on Furby Street. No injuries were reported and everyone in the building was able to evacuate. A day later a fire destroyed an entire apartment block on Agnes Street, leaving about 25 people with no place to live.
“My suite is completely gone, I lost everything I own,” said James Desjarlais, a resident displaced by the fire told CTV News Friday. “I just have the clothes that I’m wearing.”
The politicians said those impacted were given temporary shelter at the Marlborough Hotel, along with necessities including meals, medicine and diapers, from the Red Cross for 72 hours after which they will need to find new places to live.
Gazan said she and Naylor met with the families and individuals displaced by the fires to figure out what they need, and then opened a donation drop-off site in the community.
Donations poured in filling a room with clothes, tools, toys and hygiene products. Gazan said the response from the community has made her proud.
Donations are pouring in to 892 Sargent Ave to help the many families that had their homes destroyed by fire over Christmas and Boxing Day. (Source: Gary Robson/ CTV News Winnipeg)
“The community is coming out with all their generosity and kindness,” Gazan said. “I am so touched by what we’ve seen in our office.”
They will be accepting Donations on Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the drop off location on 892 Sargent Avenue.
Gazan said following Monday’s donations they will let a social service take over. She said they are also looking for volunteers to help sort the donations that have come in so far.
“We are trying to get the items to the evacuees as soon as possible,” Gazan said. “This is a really tough time of year for so many people and I know that this has meant so much to them – they have lost everything.”
For people who are not able to bring items, but want to donate money – Gazan said the West Central Women’s Resource Centre is collecting financial donations for the families.
The items that need to be donated include:
- Adult clothing in all sizes, including XL and 2XL
- All pant sizes, including 18-20, 32-34, 34-36
- Children and youth clothing, including 3-6 infant, youth sizes 6, 16-18, 18-20, youth XL/XXL
- Diapers in sizes 2 and 7 (for boys), and XL Boys Pull-ups
- Diaper cream, baby wipes and hygiene products for babies
- Hygiene products
- Feminine hygiene products
- Socks and underwear
- Shoes in women sizes 5-9, men sizes 9-11, boy size 5 and infant sizes 2-3
- Bedding, towels and household items