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In aftermath of apartment building fire, community mobilizes to help

September 14, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

LACONIA — Community support for the people who were displaced by Tuesday’s multi-alarm apartment building fire has been extraordinary, according to one key Red Cross worker who has been working

LACONIA — Community support for the people who were displaced by Tuesday’s multi-alarm apartment building fire has been extraordinary, according to one key Red Cross worker who has been working with the victims. “How quickly this community came together to help these people is inspiring, I’m just awestruck by all the support,” said Susan Doherty-Funke, who heads the agency’s Lakes Region Action Team. An example of that support is the effort by Gilford resident Michael Vertone who on Wednesday started collecting donated food, clothing, bedding, and furniture for the eight households who had to flee their apartments at 17 Dyer St.

Doherty-Funke said most of the displaced families have been able to move into other apartments or are staying with family members.

Both have insurance, she said. She said Keystone Properties, the building’s owner, has been working to connect the burned-out tenants with new places to live. Doherty-Funke said it is still “unclear” what Keystone will do with the eight-unit, two-story building, where between 16 and 18 people were living when the five-alarm fire struck shortly after 12:30 a. m. Tuesday. The fire is considered suspicious.

He said donations can be dropped off at his house at 1024 Cherry Valley Road (Route 11A) or people who wish to make donations can call him at 603-851-3283. Doherty-Funke said six families are continuing to get assistance in some form from the Red Cross — either financial, mental health or spiritual support. As to the level of community support, Doherty-Funke said she was also impressed by the help the victims received from the Laconia Fire and Police departments, and the city’s animal control officer.

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