The shock is still settling with the victims of a devastating apartment fire in Port Hope.
Shortly after 12 p.m. Port Hope Fire Department was called to a 24-unit apartment building on Wellington Street.
Minutes after arriving flames tore through the roof of the building.
Residents could only stand and watch as firefighters did their best to control the fire. Numerous pets were saved, but some did perish in the blaze.
Victims services helped with the needs of the victims setting them up in hotels.
Seventy-four-year-old Edna Greer came back on Saturday to pick up her SUV that has been parked in the lot of the apartment building since the fire.
Greer and her daughter lived in apartment 201 are staying at a nearby hotel until Wednesday.
After that, she’s not sure.
“I was washing walls and ceilings like I always do in the Spring, then the fire alarm went off.”
“I looked out in the hall and I didn’t see anybody so she (Cindy) went out onto the balcony.”
A woman outside yelled there was smoke coming out of the building on the north side and that’s when they knew it was a real fire.
“We got the (Lily) dog and came down and it wasn’t minutes and flames were through the roof.”
“The fire department were here in seconds it seemed like. They were amazing.”
Greer and a neighbour helped rescue a dog by ripping off a screen and grabbing it.
“Then the fire department took me away.”
Greer suffers from COPD and inhaled a bit of smoke.
Later she went to the hospital to be assessed but was released a few hours later.
None of the residents has been allowed in the building pending the results of the investigation and structural report.
“I’d like to go in even and save my clothing. I have clothes that weren’t even worn.”
Tragically Greer said, she, like most residents don’t have insurance.
“I was talking about that four weeks ago and you talk about it, then it’s gone out of your mind.”
Most of the residents are currently staying at the Comfort Inn in Port Hope, but a few are staying at other places including friends.
“We’re here till Wednesday and then – we don’t know,” said Greer.
But she did say the Red Cross has been amazing.
“It’s beginning to sink in,” said Greer.
“But to see the light of day we have to move on.”
“Everybody is doing as best as can be accepted.”
Greer said she’s put feelers out for a new residence, but adds, “you don’t just sit and ignore it, you’ve got to get out and look.”
Port Hope Police have stated no one will be allowed into the building until it is turned over to the owners and their insurers. At that time they will determine when and if tenants will be allowed
back to check their property.
Port Hope Police have also said they will not take any more donations at there police station.
“The space allocated has been used up,” stated police.
Police are requesting people who wish to donate to wait until the first of the week where a donation depot location will be identified. The Salvation Army will be leading on this effort.
People displaced from the fire have been receiving necessities including shelter from the Red Cross and Peterborough Northumberland Victim Services.
A fundraiser on Sunday is taking place at Memorial Park on Queen Street in Port Hope.
Neighbour Bill Fulton who is a well known musician in the area is the main organizer for the event happening on Sunday.
Many local bands are donating their time to Rock The Bandshell and Pass The Boot to help raise donations for those effected by the fire.
“We’ll be passing the proverbial “boot” around collecting all day. Clothing, toys etc. are also in dire need. Everything we collect will be going to the Wellington Street fire victims.”
Emcee for the event is York Bell-Smith.
The tentative schedule is as follows:
As it stands right now…..
12:00 til 1:30 Tight Quarters
1:30 til 2:30 Marty & Mojos
2:30 til about 2:50 3M Dance Works
2:50 til 3:20 Stacy Doherty & Mike Hepburn
3:20 til 4pm Chris Devlin
4:00 til finish Garage Dog
Not to mention a Silent Auction with all proceeds going to the benefit. Gus Norman also known as “The GrillMaster” from “Gus’s Grill To Go” will be doing up some roast beef on a bun,
burgers, hot dogs, with all profits going to the benefit.
Fulton adds, “grab your favorite lawn chair or blanket and come on down and help us make this an event for this community to remember.”
“Let’s show the rest of them how we do things in Port Hope and Cobourg.”
Photos of the fire from Bill Fulton