Bernalwood is pleased to report that contact has been established with the family from 649 Andover — the house next door that was also badly damaged in the blaze. They are a big, multigenerational family, their home is uninhabitable, and their situation is rather desperate. You can help.
Neighbor Sarah explains:
Thanks to those who have helped out organizing and making donations for Angelina and her 4 year old [from 655 Andover]! We live next door to them and I wanted to let you know that they secured a furnished rental today.
Thankfully, we were finally able to make contact with the neighbors who live at 649 Andover St. (the other house that burned as a consequence). This large family of limited means is really suffering.
There were 12 people living at 649, including 2 very frail seniors, a disabled young man in a wheel chair, two sets of parents and 5 young children. They are staying where they can, sleeping on floors and don’t even have enough bedding for everyone. It seems that they are so overwhelmed with trying to survive day to day, that they are having trouble sorting out what they are going to do for the long term.
Due to insurance complications, this family is not getting the immediate lodging and clean-up that Angelina’s family is receiving, and whatever assistance they are getting from the Red Cross is ending soon.
I was able to go inside the house at 649 today. You can’t tell from the outside, but everything in the main level is destroyed. The family is still in crisis and I really think they would benefit from a legal advocate who can help them work out the insurance situation. It seems that they are in some sort of insurance limbo because insurance companies will need to fight over who has to pay.
There is a 2-year-old girl, 4-year-old girl, 5-year-old boy, 6-year-old girl and an 8-year-old girl. They need most everything. We do know that their little boy has been wearing the same pair of pants since the fire. The six-year-old girl needs school uniforms for Flynn. They need bedding, backpacks, shoes, jackets, and food. They have lost everything.
Although Chloe’s is great for some things, it can be hard to find enough clothes for older kids there and they probably need personal items that you can’t get second-hand. Frankly, with caring for their elderly parents and the disabled boy and without a permanent place to stay, I don’t think this family is able to manage sorting or storing lots of clothing donations.
Gift cards for places like Target, Walgreens or Safeway would probably be the most efficient way to help them to meet some of their most immediate needs.
For those who want to help the family from 649 with donations of cash or gift cards, Kery Market at the corner of Andover and Richland is the collection point. Alfonso, the owner or Kery Market, has been collecting donations. You can specify that you want them to go the house at 649.
To summarize, here is how to help the family from 649 Andover:
- They need basic necessities and medical supplies. The most useful donations are cash, or gift cards from stores like Walgreens, Target, and Safeway. Please do not donate clothes, housewares, or toys (yet), as the family has no place to put them.
- Donations can be dropped off at Kery Market at the corner of Andover and Richland. Mark the donations as intended for 649 Andover.
- The family needs legal assistance and advocacy, to navigate the insurance morass. If you can provide legal help, email <bernalwood at gmail doctom> and we will connect you with the appropriate contacts.
Thanks, Bernal neighbors, for your understanding and generosity. And special, special thanks to Neighbor Sarah, for locating the family from 649 and facilitating their assistance. Going forward, Bernalwood will provide additional updates and information on relief efforts as required.
UPDATE: Neighbor Sarah brings an update on how to donate via Chloe’s Closet on Cortland:
Chloe’s now has set up accounts for each of the families from 649 Andover:
The Zamora Family is listed as 649 Andover, Unit A
People can donate cash to acct. # 10427 or store credit to acct.#10428
They have 3 children ages 2, 5 and 8
The Aquino Family is listed as 649 Andover, Unit B
People can donate cash to acct. #10429 or store credit to acct. #10430
They have 2 children ages 4 and 6
PHOTOS: 649 and 655 Andover during the fire on October 25, 2012. Photo by maxslug