PERINTON, N.Y. (WROC) — After a devastating apartment fire in Perinton, the community is showing up like no other.
John Overacker is the Deputy Chief of Fairport Fire Department and spent the entire day Tuesday on the scene of the fire working to put it out.
“In my twenty years in the fire service, this is one of the fires that happens once in a career,” Overacker said.
65 residents were displaced by the fire, leaving them in temporary housing for the time being.
“It was very difficult on people, the number of people that were displaced, people’s belongings and things like that. Not to diminish the value but a single house over an entire apartment building is pretty difficult on our members,” Overacker said.
While Wednesday’s scene was very devastating, the outpouring of support from the community has been astonishing.
“It’s devastating. I can’t imagine losing my home. I know that these people are mentally drained,” said Tiffany Porter, founder of Black in the Burbs.
Community organizations throughout the region have been collecting donations, including Black in the Burbs. So many donations have been collected that at this point, organizations are asking the community to hold off.
“We are set. I want folks to understand that giving cash to these victims is probably the best thing to do,” Porter said.
A number of pets who were in the fire are still lost. Local organization, Headed For Furever Rescue is working to find the cats and get them back to their owners.
“There’s Stitch that’s a small black cat, and there is River who is a tiger wearing a blue-collar and then there is also Nellie. Stitch and River have been seen alive outside, Nellie has not,” Co-founder Morgan McCarty said, “We come out and we initially set up just a bait station which is a bunch of good smelling food. We have a live camera that comes right to our phones so we can see when the cat comes to eat and then after the cat comes to eat, we set a trap. The point of the live camera is so that we can monitor is at all points in time so as soon as the cat goes in the trap, we get them out of the cold and back to their family.”
McCarty said if you want to help find the cats, do not put food out for them as it will deter them away from their organization’s methods of catching them. Instead, if you spot any of these cats, reach out to the rescue organization immediately.
“These families have been through so much through these tragedies, we want to give them some form of comfort by at least helping them reunite with their beloved lost pet,” McCarty said.
Headed For Furever Rescue, Black in the Burbs, and the town of Perinton are only some of the organizations helping these displaced families. You can find updates on how to help over on the town of Perinton’s website.
There are also go-fund-me accounts set up for victims of the fire. You can find them here.