CHICAGO (CBS) — Nearly 70 people lost everything this past weekend, when an extra-alarm fire ripped through their condo building in the Morgan Park neighborhood.
CBS 2’s Brad Edwards reports, on Wednesday night, friends and neighbors in the Beverly-Morgan Park community stepped up to offer a measure of help to those victims.
It took 120 firefighters more than three hours to get the 3-11 alarm fire under control Saturday afternoon at the condo building at 2030 W. 111th St.
Nobody was hurt in the blaze, but the personal loss for those who lived there was devastating.
Wednesday evening, at the Original Pancake House a little more than a mile away on Western Avenue, members of the community – including local elected and civic leaders – hosted a dinner for the residents displaced by the fire, and distributed donations of clothes, food, and other staples of life.
“It’s the holidays. You gotta give back,” Pancake House owner Julie Harrigan said.
The 70 displaced residents ate a hearty meal with heavy hearts.
Barbara Murff-Bridges said she lost everything in Saturday’s fire. A widow, her first purchase since the fire was the Santa shirt she donned for Wednesday’s dinner.
While at the doctor’s office recently, a total stranger gave her some money to help her get by.
“I was just sitting there, and she gave me $20 dollars. I’d never met her, just was in the same doctor’s office, and she knew about the fire,” Murff-Bridges said.
From winter warm coats and blankets to soap and shampoo, donations marshaled together by Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th) were given out to those who lost their belongings in the fire.
“Marshall Field’s on State Street has got nothing on this room,” he said. “It’s moving.”
Paulette Glover struggled to find the words to express the pain of her loss from the fire.
“It’s just sad, it’s just. … I just need a moment, you know,” she said.
Her loss included her pet cat, Simba.
Glover said, just when she and others who lost their possessions in the fire thought it was all gone, “you realize that there are people in this world that care.”
A cash donation fund has been set up for the victims of the fire. Donors have already given $10,000 to the fund.
Contributions can be sent to:
Morgan Park Fire Victims’ Fund
Care Of: Standard Bank
2400 W. 95th St.
Evergreen Park, IL 60805