Tremendous response to fire victims plea for help

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

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A tremendous response from NBC 12 viewers to a plea for help from fire victims at a Richmond retirement community. The massive blaze at Chesterfield Square Apartments forced more than a hundred elderly and disabled residents out of their homes. Fire victims are still collecting their belongings, but it's been a challenge for many.

Tuesday night, they asked for help on NBC12-- and the response is being called a life saver. Shortly after the story aired managers at the complex say faxes and phone calls began pouring in, all from community members who want to help.

Jerry mason is 59 years old. He has arthritis in his hands and braces on both legs. Mason is one of many displaced fire victims at Chesterfield Square who's had a hard time packing up his belongings and hauling them out.

"It's terrible trying to come down all those steps and climb up when you got braces on your legs and stuff," said Mason.

Mason is thrilled to hear that community members are stepping up to lend a hand. Door to Door Solutions is just one moving company who saw the plea for help on NBC 12 and decided to get involved.

"We volunteered to take on a group of people. We'll come in and pack them up, move them over to their temporary housing and hopefully that will take the pressure off them for the holiday," said owner, Donnie Harper.

The company is now working with two dozen of the displaced fire victims. Many of them are elderly. Some are disabled. A number of them don't have friends or family members to help them collect their belongings.

Fire victims and management at Chesterfield Square Apartments say the public's response is nothing less than spectacular.

"I was very surprised. It brought tears to me and I appreciate it; everyone who called or came by. We have boxes on the way. It's overwhelming," said Sonya Collins, property Manager at the complex.

If you'd like to help contact Chesterfield Square Apartments at 320-6795.  Moving companies who volunteered to help say they expect to do site visits this week and begin the moving process by this weekend.

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