PORTLAND, Ore. — Donations are pouring in for residents who survived an apartment fire at Northeast 22nd Avenue and Weidler Street in Northeast Portland on Sunday. Two people were killed and several more injured.
As investigators go through the destruction looking for clues, the community is helping the survivors get back on their feet.
Volunteers with the American Red Cross are helping people with immediate needs such as mental health counseling. The American Red Cross has also provided some money for 11 families affected by the fire.
“The Red Cross can provide some financial assistance to families so they can go out and get what they need, because they know what they need far better than we do,” said Chad Carter, American Red Cross spokesperson. “And so, we’re working to make sure that they can go and do that.”
The community is also raising money through GoFundMe accounts like the one started by a relative for Krystle Grandy and her family. That family includes Lillie the dog, who earned the title of “hero” early Sunday morning. Lillie woke up owner Krystle, along with Krystle's boyfriend Justin and 4-year-old Cooper. The family and their pets escaped the fire over their second floor balcony.
Grandy said they were "a little banged and bruised but we’re all here and that’s what matters.”
All of their possessions are virtually gone, from the sentimental family items to the essential stuff.
“I’m doing ok, still in a little bit of shock that we did lose everything in our home and all the way down to our car [which burned up], we left with just the clothes on our backs and ourselves,” said Grandy.
As of Tuesday, a poster board on a tree sits across the street from the fire scene. The board has a QR code that allows people to list their needs and others can offer to help. The Sullivan's Gulch Neighborhood Association is organizing the grass roots effort and Spin Laundry Lounge has joined in to help.
“It’s really close to home, we can definitely feel the impact in the immediate area,” said Anthony Musaro, who owns Spin Laundry Lounge along with his wife Morgan.
Their business is taking in donations that will be distributed to fire victims.
“And not just clothing but things like linens and towels and sleeping bags, blankets, pillows whatever the case. And we’ll take it and sort it all and our goal is to make it accessible to the people who need it,” said Musaro.
It is coming together of neighbors, still helping after the fire is out.
Grandy said she is humbled and grateful for the help and she is already thinking about giving back.
“I’m going be able to pay it forward one day to those people that need me, that have helped us and that’s what matters to me," said Grandy.
How to help fire victims
If you want to help the fire victims, you can find a list of their needs online along with links to several GoFundMe accounts.
It's important to note that some donations and deliveries may need to wait until families determine where they will live and what they will need.