Displaced residents of apartment fire treated to holiday meal

By Laura Geller - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Out of hard times, comes good.

The staff at Bon Secours, Saint Francis Medical Center prepared a holiday meal to reunite residents forced out of their homes after that massive fire at the Chesterfield Square Apartments.

Several residents are still reeling from the experience.

"When you came out of your apartment you could actually smell smoke so we knew it was not a false alarm that time," said resident William Rohm.

That was more than three weeks ago.

Rohm lived at Chesterfield Square for almost two years.

"The walls are dark and gray and the ceiling is separating where they put the board together," he said.

Many residents were forced to scatter throughout the area -- staying in church shelters, with family, some even living in hotels.

"You're living day-to-day in a bag," he said. "I ran back and forth with the apartment getting things I thought I'd need and I would always forget one thing or another."

Since then, charitable donors have come to their aid.

Christmas day was no exception.

Staff at Saint Francis Medical Center prepared a traditional meal with all the fixings.

Nutrition Director Ruth Ann Smith says this is what the season all about.

"It's just amazing to me," she said. "It talks to me about the human spirit and how resilient we are and how grateful people are for the smallest token of affection or outreach of kindness."

Rohm says he'll never forget how tragedy turned into this year's good tidings.

Residents got an extra surprise at the meal.

Several good Samaritans dropped off clothing, supplies and gifts.

Giving these fire victims yet another thing to be thankful for.

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