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Donation center set up to aid residents who lost nearly everything in last week's fire at the Pines of Perinton

Thousands of clothing articles and other items have been donated for victims of the Jan. 25, 2022 fire at the Pines of Perinton apartment complex.
Randy Gorbman/WXXI News
Thousands of clothing articles and other items have been donated for victims of the Jan. 25, 2022 fire at the Pines of Perinton apartment complex.

People who lost most of their possessions in a massive fire at the Pines of Perinton apartment complex last Tuesday continue to get help from many people throughout the community.

A vacant business at the Perinton Square Mall has been turned into a makeshift donation center, to organize the thousands of items donated by people throughout the town and from around the area, including clothing, toiletries, diapers and cleaning supplies.

Luckily there were no injuries, but at least 65 people didn’t salvage much beyond the clothes on their back.

Among them is Annalisha Wright, who was at the donation center on Sunday to pick up a few things for her and her children. She’s humbled by having to depend on donations, but she’s also appreciative of those who donated.

“Because I’ve always been independent, so this happened,” said Wright. “It’s going to somebody for stuff, it feels embarrassing. I feel low, and I always provided for my kids and made sure they were good. They never wanted for anything. I feel bad, but now I’m just trying to put a smile on their face, make (my children) feel comfortable.”

Jamie Buss is a volunteer who is helping coordinate the donations, setting up appointments for tenants who need this help.

“Making sure that they process the situation, take what they need, and come back a second time when this is overwhelming,” said Buss. ”So, if this is too much right now, (tenants) can come back a second time and gather what (they) need later.”

Town of Perinton Supervisor Cieran Hanna was not really shocked that there have been so many donations.

“I’m not surprised because I know what this town is capable of doing and what they do,” Hanna said. “But every time something like this happens, you get kind of overwhelmed. It’s amazing. And you kind of renew your faith in humanity and how wonderful this community is.”

For now, the Town of Perinton is not looking for any more clothing or physical goods for the tenants until they can better assess what needs are still out there.

But the town will coordinate cash donations for anyone wanting to help, and there’s more information on the Town of Perinton website.

The American Red Cross has been helping find hotels for temporary housing for the affected tenants, and now they are assisting relocating them in other available units at the Pines of Perinton.

There is no word yet on a cause for last week’s fire.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.