PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — During a devastating fire last Thursday, a West Chester community came together.
Strangers sprang into action in the middle of the night to help rescue and comfort more than 100 elderly or disabled residents who lived in the burning Barclays friends senior living facility.
Three days later, this same West Chester community came together again. This time, to collect donations for those who lost everything in the fire, and the response was overwhelming.
“I am absolutely blown away by the amazing outpouring of community support,” said Anita Warner a Barclays friends employee. “This is humbling, it brings a lot of tears to your eyes to see how the community just comes together and they’ve come together quickly.”
“I have a mother in a similar facility and I just thought of that, and it could’ve been her,” said Joe Feola of Exton.
For six hours people came from all over Pennsylvania and New Jersey donated everything from food and clothing to household items and medical supplies.
“We talk about an economy being low, for people to stretch their wallets and put this much into it, because most these things are new,” said Warner. “So when you see this, it’s a heartwarming feeling.”
“Hopefully through everybody’s efforts here today, we can somehow translate that to the resident so they know how much people care,” said Carol Hanson a Chester Springs volunteer.
This community is working to make sure that everyone who lived at the senior living facility has supplies they need to go on and rebuild their lives.
Authorities say they are still trying to determine if everyone made it out and what caused this tragic fire.