Fire victims appeal for help

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Victims of that massive fire at a Richmond retirement community are now asking for your help. The blaze at Chesterfield Square Apartments displaced more than a hundred elderly residents. Today, a plea for moving companies to get involved.

Marsha Franz is 59 years old. She has health issues and is one of many displaced fire victims who have come to Chesterfield Square Apartments daily to move a few items at a time…

"It's been very difficult because the elevators don't work," said Franz.

Franz considers herself lucky. She has people coming to help her.

"Tomorrow they're coming in and getting all my clothes out, curtains, and whatever needs to be taken care of," Franz said.

Management says most tenants need help because a number of them don't have friends or family members to assist them with packing up and hauling their stuff out. Now, a request for moving companies to volunteer time and equipment.

"They need help moving, packing items, getting those items to temporary housing where they're going to be. We're doing as much as we can we're short on staff we don't have the manpower we need," said Sonya Collins, property manager at Chesterfield Square Apartments.

Management originally gave residents until this Friday to be all packed so that construction crews could come in, start work, and ultimately get residents back in their apartments. But that target date has now been eliminated.

"It's not that if you can't make it here by Friday you lose your items -- that's not our plan. We're being flexible as needed," said Collins.

Stephen Smith says the extension and help is desperately needed. He's visually impaired and calls the move rough.

"I've packed quite a bit, but I have quite a bit to go," said Smith.

As for displaced residents and management they say they'd appreciate any help they can get. If you'd like to offer your help, contact Chesterfield Square Apartments - the office number is 320-6795.

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