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Help available for McCarty Building fire victims
RUMFORD -- The July 3 fire which destroyed the 82 Maine Ave. apartment building left nine families homeless. The good news is that help is available for them.
On Monday morning, Margaret McNeal of the Free Store in Mexico was assisting one of the families with clothing and household items. This was the third family from the this fire they have assisted to date. One of them actually lost her items for a second time as she was a victim of a fire before Christmas in Mexico.
She said that since the fire, two Rumford churches, the United Methodist and St. Barnabas, have begun efforts to help the fire victims. The United Methodist Church donated a variety of quilts and other odds and ends to the Free Store for them.
McNeal is also with the Salvation Army, which provided a voucher for a family to stay for four nights in a local hotel until their new home was ready.
She wants to let other victims of this fire to know that they can come to the Free Store for food, clothing and household items that they might need as they get back on their feet. People can reach her at 357-8772 or at the Free Store at 369-3667.
Meanwhile, Peter Robichaud, who owned the 11-unit building, noted Thursday he had placed five of the families in other apartment buildings that he owns. One family took a two-bedroom apartment but are waiting for a three-bedroom. Robichaud was not able to find a first floor apartment for the elderly woman and her caretaker, who living in the basement of the building.
Built in 1927, the building for years served for a time as the original Rumford Hospital, run by Dr. Eugene McCarty.
Around midnight on July 3, Rumford firefighters, assisted by crews Newry, Bethel, Andover, Dixfield, Mexico, Roxbury, Canton and Peru fought the blaze, believed caused by unattended candles. At the scene, officials rescued a man and his two children from a third-floor porch.
Interestly, some 12 hours after the fire, a Pomeranian dog named Max somehow survived and was rescued by a woman who was salvaging personal items from the wreckage.