STRATFORD, Conn. -- Members of the Stratford Emergency Medical Service collected clothing and toiletries for the victims of a New Year's Eve fire at a Bridgeport apartment complex that left 100 people homeless.
EMT Cara Hackley led the effort that drew enough donations to load three ambulances and one fly car. The items were then brought to Sterling House Community Center in Stratford.
Along with Hackley, volunteers included Volunteer EMT Will Villa, Volunteer EMT Ruth Smith, Volunteer EMT Brian Cepitelli, Volunteer EMT Steven Kennedy, Volunteer EMT Bunnie McQuilton, Volunteer EMT Supervisor Gavin Forrester, Volunteer EMT Supervisor Chris Mancini, Per Diem EMT Beverly Hill, Per Diem EMT, Michelle Elder, and Per Diem Paramedic Cate Sadlier.
The fire broke out in the early morning hours of Dec. 31 at the complex that contained 36 apartments.
The Daily Voice reported some units may have been vacant, and there may have been squatters on the property.
One man was rescued from an upper apartment, but there were no casualties, said West Side Fire Battalion Chief Michael Caldaroni.
More than 100 people were left homeless.
It took seven engines, four ladder companies and a rescue vehicle and help from Fairfield, Milford and Stratford fire departments to contain the blaze.
Those displaced include families with small children to senior citizens.
Some still wearing nightgowns and pajamas were taken to Geraldine Johnson School on North Avenue. There, the Red Cross, Social Services and members of the city’s Community Emergency Response Team offered help, said Jeannette Herron, a member of CERT and the City Council.
Bridgeport Mayor Joseph P. Ganim put out a plea for donations, asking for adult and children’s clothing, food, pet food and toys to replace lost holiday gifts.
To make a donation, call Scott Appleby at Bridgeport’s Emergency Operations Center at 203-579-3829 or the Mayor’s Office at 203-337-2341.
Monetary donations may be sent to the Red Cross, c/o Charles Street Fire, 158 Brooklawn Ave., Bridgeport, CT 06604
See more about the Bridgeport fire on the Daily Voice here.