A fund to benefit the victims of the Bella Vista Apartment fire has been set up after the massive blaze ripped through the apartment complex in New Haven and damaged an entire side of the building.
The fire damaged 171 units. There are still many people who aren't able to return home.
“There's no way to prepare for a situation like this. Without electricity, they cannot be back in their homes,” said Dorothy Harper, Co-Chair of the 11th Ward Democratic Committee.
Some people will be coming back the first and second weeks in September. Others will continue to wait as the building management works to repair the heavily damaged apartments. Because tenants had to rush out, and were left with nothing, people like Dorothy Harper and Beatrice Codianni are trying to collect things for them. They are also trying to raise money to get them what they need. They helped to start the "Bella Vista Fire Fund" at Start Community Bank.
“The people are really having a tough time living in the hotels. They don't have access to basic things,” said Codianni.
The fund isn't the only place collecting donations. Codianni says fund organizers have been reaching out to area businesses to pitch in.
“Stop and Shop was wonderful and said that on September 21st and September 22nd, they will allow us to collect funds outside the store in East Haven,” she said.
West Haven is also doing its part through the WHEAT food pantry on Washington Avenue.
“We asked our residents to see if they could help. They've been great, but we're asking if they could do some more to help the people at Bella Vista,” said Mayor John Picard.
Donations can be made to Bella Vista Fire Fund and mailed to:
Bella Vista Fire Fund
L. R. Codianni, Treasurer
C/O Start Community Bank
258 Grand Avenue
New Haven, Ct 06513