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Community rallies to help families displaced by fire at apartment complex

pines fire 4.jpg
Max Schulte
A three-alarm fire tore through the Pines of Perinton apartment complex in Fairport early Tuesday, displacing scores of residents. There were no deaths or injuries, according to the Fairport Fire Department, which led neighboring fire districts in the effort to suppress the blaze.

Donations continue to pour in to help families displaced by Tuesday’s fire at a Fairport apartment complex.

The fire left 65 Pines of Perinton residents without a place to live. The Red Cross has arranged for them to stay in hotels.

The community has responded by donating clothes and money to help those affected. A GoFundMe started shortly after the fire has raised thousands of dollars, nearly reaching its goal in less than 24 hours. Perinton Supervisor Ciaran Hanna said the response has been overwhelming -- but he’s not surprised by the support.

“We brought the families over here to the community center early in the morning,” Hanna said, “and as soon as the word got out, within a few hours, our lobby here and at the community center was just full of donations, clothing, toiletries, anything that they may need.

“And it was amazing.”

Mitch Pritchard, communications manager for the town, said people were able to immediately take donations back to their hotel room. He said they are no longer accepting physical donations.

“The community center has a huge entryway. It was full.” he said. “And someone has a barn in the village of Fairport that they were accepting donations, and that is full.”

He said the same is true at a Fairport store that was collecting items.

"That is full to the point where they can't take anything else,” Pritchard said.

Tiffany Porter has been helping connect families to resources through her advocacy group, Black in the Burbs. The former Pines of Perinton resident said the fire sheds light on what she calls the many “unsafe living conditions” that the low-income residents experience.

“We are very lucky that no one got hurt this time, but next time we may not be,” Porter said.

The investigation is still underway to find out what caused the fire.

April Franklin is an occasional local host of WXXI's Weekend Edition.