NORTH COVENTRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — Volunteers are making a big push after a massive apartment fire in Chester County left about 100 people homeless. The reality of it all is now sinking in for residents of the Ashwood Apartments in North Coventry Township nearly 24 hours after the fire started.
The community immediately came together and by Friday afternoon, volunteers had to stop accepting donations. There’s simply no more space.
The space at the Norco Fire Company has become a donation center. Volunteers have been working non-stop sorting supplies that are being dropped off.
“We basically have a pop-up Walmart in there,” volunteer Josh Park, with Branch Life Church, said.
An overwhelming number of people have been dropping by to contribute clothes, baby supplies, toiletries, non-perishable food and more. Different stations have been set up to make it easier for families to grab what they need.
“From essentials to paper goods, there’s food on the other side. All the clothes you could need, all the shoes you could need, baby supplies, diapers, toys and gift cards are all continuing to flow in on a regular basis,” Park said. “This for the 40 families is a lot and we think everything they need is going to be here,” Park said.
Thousands of dollars have also been donated, allowing for gift cards to help with immediate expenses.
While the cause of the fire is still being investigated, Red Cross is providing temporary hotel lodging for those that were displaced, and recovery specialists are working with each family.
The donation center is expected to remain open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day until they figure out the next steps.
Also, a community organization by the name Open Hearth is accepting donations to help families with housing.
“The money that’s being fundraised right now is all going to the housing costs so that they can either stay in the hotel or they can rent another apartment or have temporary housing until they’re able to get a permanent solution,” Park said.