Flames reach into the sky at 11 Ashton Place, Methuen, on Dec. 22.
Local organizations, including Haverhill-based Emmaus, have contributed to helping the 51 Methuen residents who were displaced when fire destroyed their apartment building last week.
More than $18,000 donated so far is supporting 39 adults and 12 children displaced from 21 apartments in a building at 11 Ashton Place, Methuen officials said in a statement this week. In all, the three-story brick building off Chelmsford Street contained 24 apartment units.
Several area organizations have given to a fund for the victims, including the Methuen Police Patrolman’s Association, Methuen City Council, Methuen Firefighters Local 1691, and Methuen Mayor Stephen N. Zanni, according to a statement from the mayor and police Chief Joseph Solomon
Emmaus provided assistance through the HomeBASE program.
“HomeBASE assists low-income families with dependent children who are at immediate risk of entering shelter. This program can help eligible families pay back rent to keep their housing or to pay first/last month’s rent and security deposits to secure new housing,” according to Emmaus. Participation requires approval by a Department of Housing and Community Development coordinator at the Department of Transitional Assistance office on the second floor at 280 Merrimack St. in Lawrence.
Donations of money will still be accepted, but officials have stopped taking clothing or toys for those displaced.
Checks made out to the City of Methuen can be dropped at the Methuen Fire Department, Central Fire Station, 24 Lowell St., or at the Methuen Police Department, 90 Hampshire St.,
Electronic donations can be made to Debbie’s Treasure Chest, 15 Union St. Suite 411, Lawrence, through its website, debbiestreasurechest.org. All donations made through Jan. 1 will be donated to the victims. A mailing address is listed at 184 Pleasant Valley St., Suite 2-104, Methuen, MA, 01844.
“Thanks to the many people who have donated clothing, toiletries, (and more) for the Methuen fire victims. The response has been overwhelming, so much so that we cannot fit any more. Please consider donating money or gift cards,” a spokesman for Debbie’s Treasure Chest said.
Among the agencies and organizations providing direct aid to the fire victims include Methuen Housing Authority, Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and Massachusetts Division of Insurance, the Methuen officials’ statement said.
As WHAV reported Friday, fire crews from Methuen and Salem, N.H. battled the blaze, which was reported at 9:06 p.m. on Dec. 22. Methuen Deputy Fire Chief Charles Ripley said one resident was evacuated by fire escort while the others got out of the building before firefighters arrived.
While fighting the fire, Methuen Fire Lt. Thomas Curtis escaped injury after a “mayday” call was prompted by his falling through a fire-weakened floor, up to his waist, in a second story apartment. Two unidentified Methuen firefighters were treated at a local hospital for shoulder or back injury and were later released.
The fire’s cause remains under investigation. Andover, Dracut, Lawrence and North Andover fire departments provided station coverage while Methuen personnel were at the fire scene.