In response to Tuesday’s tragic apartment fire on Elm Avenue, residents, businesses and community organizations can now direct donations to Penticton’s Salvation Army Store and the Red Cross.
“Clothing, bedding, and similar items can be given to Penticton’s Salvation Army store Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” said Adam Goodwin, the city’s social development specialist. “Cash donations can be directed to the Red Cross at redcross.ca/donate.”
Evacuees will receive a special voucher at the Salvation Army store to shop for items they may require. Likewise, evacuees who did not have insurance may receive emergency supports through the Red Cross. All donations will help provide funding for victims of this fire and future emergencies.
“The compassion, empathy and care our community has for each other is shining through,” said Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki. “Residents and businesses have been calling the city asking where they can best support evacuees, so I’m grateful to see the Salvation Army and Red Cross stepping forward to help as they always do. This is another example of our close-knit community working together during a time of need.”
Earlier this week, The Nest restaurant was making meals for evacuees and Junk in the Trunk, an online thrift store was offering donations of clothing and household items.
The fire ripped through the Clarence House apartment building around 4 a.m. on Oct. 27 with firefighters continuing to douse hot spots by 8 a.m.
Once the fire was out and a structural engineer deemed it was safe to go in, fire services located the bodies of two people.
The blaze is not criminal in nature, according to the RCMP. Fire victims are being put up in a local hotel through Emergency Social Services but that is only for a few days. Displaced residents of Clarence House will have to find long term accommodations, said Penticton Fire Chief Larry Watkinson. The building suffered extensive damage and it will be a long time before residents can move back in, he added.
The Salvation Army reminds the community that, due to space constraints, it can only accept limited furniture items in good condition. All donated items go into The Salvation Army’s general inventory to ensure fire evacuees have access to the store’s full inventory. The Salvation Army remains open to anyone in need, and no one in need is turned away.