Bridgeport Fire: What You Need To Know

“06880” reader Sal Gilbertie lives about a mile from the Bridgeport condominium that burned to the ground 4 days ago, leaving 120 people homeless. Last night, he wrote:

I wanted to thank “06880” for your coverage of the New Year’s Eve fire and update you on the amazing work done by people like Elaine Marino, whose efforts are clearly needed, and much valued and appreciated.

I took some pictures today. There is total devastation. The complete loss suffered by residents is illustrated graphically.

Nothing is left of the condominium on Charles Street, Bridgeport. (Photo/Sal Gilbertie)

Nothing is left of the condominium on Charles Street, Bridgeport. (Photo/Sal Gilbertie)

The warehouse staging area at 837 Seaview was a beehive of activity today. City workers, firemen and volunteers sorted donations, still arriving by the truckload.

I spoke with both Mayor Joe Ganim and Gina Malheiro, deputy chief administrative officer of Bridgeport. Both were deeply grateful for the assistance offered by the entire Bridgeport area. Both also seemed energized by what is now their 4th day of work on behalf of the displaced residents.

The donation center was a hub of activity. To see what is still needed, read below. (Photo/Sal Gilbertie)

The donation center was filling up. To see what is still needed, read below. (Photo/Sal Gilbertie)

After those conversations, and others with city employees I do not know, I can give you the following update:

The displaced residents are all housed — some already in permanent locations, others in hotels until Bridgeport city agencies can place them.

On Monday, the families will be assisted by the city in replacing lost vital documents so they can begin rebuilding their lives. The families will then be brought to 837 Seaview to “shop” amongst the donated items.

Another view, after the Bridgeport condominium fire. (Photo/Sal Gilbertie)

Another view, after the Bridgeport condominium fire. (Photo/Sal Gilbertie)

When asked what is needed most now, the most emphatic answer was “money.”

Those wishing to make donations can act in one of 3 vital ways:

  • Donate to the Red Cross specifically for “Bridgeport Fire.” I was told the monies would go toward offsetting the assistance already given to the families immediately after the fire. As funds accumulate, they will also be distributed to each family displaced by the fire. American Red Cross, 158 Brooklawn Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06604; phone: 800-319-9935.
  • Check with the city Facebook page as to very specific needs identified by city officials: https://www.facebook.com/BridgeportCT
  • Some sort of “Adopt a Family” program is being formed, to be coordinated by the city. Anyone interested should contact Bridgeport Social Services directly (click here, or call 203-576-7416).

Thanks, Sal — and thanks too to Elaine Marino, and the many “06880” readers who have stepped up to help.

One response to “Bridgeport Fire: What You Need To Know

  1. Elaine Marino

    I wanted to mention that I am still receiving email requests to pick up or drop off donations at my house. As Sal mentioned, the only donations that are being accepted by the City of Bridgeport at this time are monetary donations or gift cards to stores. My SUV is full to the roof with boxes of diapers, baby wipes, formula, toiletries, toys, children’s books, clothes and wrapped Christmas presents for girls ages 3 – 7. If I am told tomorrow that non-cash donations are still not being accepted, I will bring the bulk of the items to the Bridgeport Rescue Mission, which accepts toiletries, clothes, non-perishable food and all baby-related items except for toys/children’s books. It does not accept mattresses or furniture (including baby furniture).

    I intend to contact BBBS of Southwestern CT regarding the used toys, books and baby furniture being stored in my garage.

    Many thanks,

    Elaine