PERINTON, N.Y. (WROC)— A year ago Wednesday, the fire that ripped through the Pines of Perinton displaced 65 residents and destroyed a total of 18 apartment units. On the evening of the anniversary, the Town of Perinton honored those who responded to the blaze, and those who provided relief.
The town hailed this occasion, saying no one was killed during the fire and the huge “lift” in the immediate hours and days afterward to get these displaced residents settled brought the town together. A resident there though said issues at the complex remain.
Fire crews were the first to be recognized, followed by the town staff who let the Pines of Perinton residents into the town recreation center for shelter.
“When it occurred so many in the community stepped up,” said Ciaran Hanna, Perinton Town Supervisor
Hanna said it was months before they had all the residents back at the complex — but throughout the process, he says it was amazing the way the community stepped up.
“When you’re in it, it’s hard to recognize everybody so here we are at the year anniversary,” said Hanna.
Chelsea Zawadzki was one of the first business owners to open their doors, collect donations, and distribute to the residents. It filled her whole shop.
“I did what any community member probably would have if they had the space. I was a new business and I had the space,” she said.
Kate Thon and Prem Vivek helped to transport residents that morning. They said the coming together that cold January morning speaks to the spirit of America.
“I believe this nation is a nation of community — and more so I believe that the spirit of community is very much alive in this town,” said Vivek.
Hanna said since the fire, conditions found to be hazardous—- have improved at the Pines — and said if management can’t keep residents safe, reach out.
“If they feel they are not getting satisfaction there, they can contact our buildings and codes then we’ll send our inspector out there,” said Hanna.
A resident of the Pines — who wanted to remain anonymous— said conditions have not improved. She’s asking the Town to do more to make sure the quality of living gets better and a fire there — never happens again.
“The only complaint we can make is literally through the town — and we’re hoping the town can push and help us. But we can only do so much,” said the resident.
She said management at the Pines isn’t doing much. Rodents are still a big problem, windows need replacing, there are heating issues, water damages remain, and more.
The cause of the fire — as we reported last year based on the investigation by the fire bureau— remains inconclusive. More details on that report can be found here.