Elderly and disabled residents displaced by fire must spend Thanksgiving at hotel – Boston 25 News
LEICESTER, Mass. – More than a dozen elderly people displaced by fire in Leicester may have to spend Thanksgiving at La Quinta in Auburn.
With tears in her eyes, Darlene Camosse shared the only good news she can share on this story.
“It’s so beyond what I would expect that I’m just grateful to be here and everyone around me is fine,” said Camosse.
Her unit was one of 40 evacuated on a very cold Tuesday morning.
“It’s quarter past four in the morning,” said Camosse. “I’m fast asleep and I have people knocking on my door, ‘Get up, it’s a fire.’ We had smoke coming down the hall, hitting my throat.
Firefighters are trying to figure out what caused the roof of the Sunset Gardens complex on Main Street to start smoking.
A WRTA bus escorted residents to Leicester Senior Center for the night. A few hours later, the Red Cross settled them in a hotel in Auburn until Sunday.
“Most of them are over 65,” said Cheryl Cooney, Deja’s new giving coordinator. “They have fixed incomes. Some of them have real big problems. It’s sad.”
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But luckily, this story has a bit more good news. At the bottom of the rue du feu is the Deja New association. Through partnerships, he’s already found ways to meet immediate needs like winter coats and even a Thanksgiving meal.
“Leicester is historically a historically generous city,” Cooney said. “A former selectman in town, he’s going to cook Thanksgiving dinner for the 15 people in the hotel and deliver it.”
Deja New is also collecting cash donations in the hopes that the tears in the eyes of the residents will soon disappear and that they can find accommodation.
“I don’t know,” Camosse said. “I just heard that we are staying until Sunday, so we can see another surprise. I just hope everyone enjoys Thanksgiving because it takes me for a loop.
This Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Leicester Town Hall building, 3 Washburn Square, Red Cross volunteers will equip a resource center to help residents. They can buy food stamps, learn about insurance options, and talk to people about housing potential, as it can be months before they can return to their apartments.
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