Tenants May Be Allowed To Collect Possessions As Salvation Army Continues To Help Victims of Fire In Port Hope

In Editor Choice, Local, Photo Gallery

It appears that tenants of a building heavily damaged by fire in Port Hope may be able to go inside the building to gather possessions.
The fire heavily damaged a three storey apartment building located at 48 Wellington Street in Port Hope on May 17, 2018.
The fire was reported shortly after 12 p.m. and within minutes flames had engulfed the roof of the building.
The area of origin was identified as the attic/ ceiling space of a third floor apartment. There were electrical wiring and electrical fixtures (Such as lights) in the area of origin, but the exact cause is unknown because of the damage.
Tenants gathered at the site of the fire on Wednesday waiting for any word when they would be allowed to return to their apartments to collect any possessions.
A worker on site said the tenants on the second floor are tentatively schedule to be allowed to go in first starting Thursday, followed by the first floor and then the third floor.
Safety is key and workers must make sure the building is safe before anyone is allowed inside to collect their belongings.
Since the fire a number of people have been displaced. The Red Cross helped out with housing and immediately supplies for five days, but now the Salvation Army is helping with the displaced needs of the people effected.
A benefit concert raised over $20,000 for the victims of the fire and was donated to the Salvation Army so they could disperse it to the tenants.
Dave Alexander who is director of The Salvation Army said there has been some miscommunication with the funds raised.
The Salvation Army has been extremely busy since the fire helping tenants as best they can with their needs. In the brief time Today’s Northumberland had with Alexander there were three phone calls about the situtation.
“No organization gives cash. But we are going to spend the money on the fire victims – that’s the bottom line.”
“The people that donate to us for the Port Hope fire, we are going to disperse it to them as needed.”
“Some of them have higher needs then others, but as people call us and we understand what their needs are we are going to help them as we’re able too.”
“We are going to stretch the funds as far as we can.”
Food, clothing, medication and other essential needs including rent housing is what the money will be spent on.
Alexander gives an example if a hotel costs $100 a night, for a month that could total $3,000. Of that, the tenant could be responsible for their portion of the rent as they would pay as if they had an apartment, but the Salvation Army will help with the remaining amount.
“We’re going to do it as equitably and as fairly as we can.”
“But we don’t know how long they are going to be homeless for. We do know that housing is hard to find in the County, but they could be in there (hotel) for months.”
“So we have to make the money stretch.”
There are currently eight apartments totalling 18 people that need housing..
At this point a number of the tenants have been “couch surfing,” but Alexander adds, that at any moment that could change and they would be in need of housing.
“We may end up getting calls from them because people are living in congested situations.”
Alexander estimates only approximately three people had content insurance.
With a major fire leaving many people without a permanent residence, Alexander said the fundraising by the community has certainly helped, but the miscommuication was unfortunate.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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