By Mike Dougherty
WYNCOTE, Pa. (CBS) – Efforts are underway in Montgomery County to help residents displaced by Friday night’s fire at The 1600 Church Road Condos (see related story).
The entire complex in Wyncote was evacuated. One family is staying at the Red Cross shelter and many others will not be able to return home for quite some time as building B was all but burned to the ground.
The Red Cross came to provide immediate support, food and shelter. Then they turned relief efforts to community volunteers.
“Those folks will be putting organizations together with individual families to see those families through all of their needs in whatever way they can. We don’t know how many of these people will have had insurance,” says Nancy Bower, who, with some help from the Red Cross, is guiding the eager but inexperienced volunteers through a long-term relief project.
Bower says it will likely be awhile before the victim’s lives return to normal.
“I would imagine it’s going to be months until these people are back into their homes.”
She says many of them lost everything in the fire and she is compiling a list of family demographics to determine who needs what.
“Their needs are going to vary,” she said. “They’re going to have immediate needs right now for things like food and toiletries. And then as time goes by, they’re going to need larger things like furniture. They’re going to need silly little things like aluminum foil, which you don’t think about. But to replace all of those things is going to cost an awful lot of money.”
For information on how you can help with volunteer efforts or to make a donation, visit cheltenhamhelps1600.org.