As a community in New Milford reels from a deadly home explosion that killed one man and critically injured two others, people from the area are also pitching in to help the family pick up the pieces.
Anthony Fratino died after a home explosion last Wednesday. Authorities said Fratino and his son, Nicholas Fratino, 9, went to a house on Sunny Valley Road to help a friend fix a propane leak in the basement.
“Someone called to help and he went to help,” said Patty Aleva, a friend of Fratino’s.
Fratino didn’t survive the blast. Fratino’s son, and friend, John Wilkinson, were critically injured.
While Fratino’s family and friends grieve, and the Wilkinsons also deal with losing their home that was ravaged by the blast, some kids in the area pitched in to help the families.
“We’re [selling lemonade] to raise money for the families who are affected in the house explosion,” said Ally Del Monte.
Del Monte doesn’t know either of the families, but said she and her friends wanted to help them with expenses.
“They’re going to need money for clothes and a new house and hospital bills, so we thought about different things we could do, and we thought, why not a lemonade sale?” said Del Monte.
Their fundraising goal was $500; a mark they surpassed by early Monday afternoon.
“When we came here, there was two people waiting with $50 bills. We’ve gotten a bunch of people coming here and just donating money,” added Del Monte.
Del Monte hopes to get the community involved in future events for the Fratino and Wilkinson families.
The “New Milford Explosion Community Relief” Facebook page has also been set up to help the families. Thousands have joined. NBC Connecticut is told a bake sale is planned in Bethel for Sept. 8.