Community reaches out to local fire victims

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Photo by Lorna Holmes

By Meg Olson

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Photo by Lorna Holmes

Family and friends of Vinny Rotunno and Amy O’Sullivan are expressing gratitude for the rapid outpouring of support the couple has received since they lost their home on Williams Street to fire.

“What an incredible community of people,” said Joan Cameron, who is coordinating donations following the
February 6 fire.

Cameron said in the days following the fire, accounts were quickly set up at both local banks, and she received dozens of phone calls offering baking, meals, clothing and temporary accommodation. A GoFundMe.com account set up by postal employee Deanna Perkins has already raised over $2,100.

“People brought them supper and clothing; Brewster’s was so kind and gave them meals,” Cameron said.

The fire department was dispatched to the fire just before 4:30 p.m. on February 6 and the first responder arrived on scene two minutes later, with water on the fire four minutes after that. “When we arrived the structure was fully involved with fire coming out the roof and the windows,” said fire chief Christopher Carleton.

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Photo by Lorna Holmes

After suppressing the fire enough from the outside for firefighters to safely enter, they were able to recover some of the family’s possessions, including passports and family photos.

There was no one in the house at the time of the fire, though the couple’s dog was later found dead. The county
fire marshall is investigating the cause of the fire.

“Kudos to the fire department, they worked really hard,” Cameron said. Carleton said he was very proud of the work of department members, some of whom had only experienced a house fire in a training situation where the burn is more controlled. “When you roll up on a house where there’s fire coming out the roof it puts you in a whole different state of nerves,” he said.

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Photo by Meg Olson

People who want to support the couple can donate at the local Umpqua and Banner banks or through the GoFundMe site. Cameron will also continue to take calls from potential donors.

“They’re just at the beginning of this incredible journey of recovery,” she said. “I’m putting together a list and when they’re ready it will be there for them.”

Cameron can be reached at aranjoan@telus.net or by calling 778/888-8100.

  1. Erin O'Sullivan-Gariepy February 12, 2016, 3:44 am

    Thank you to everyone who has reached out to my parents. All of your support and kindness has lifted their spirits during this dark time. The Go Fund Me site mentioned in the article can be directly accessed here: https://www.gofundme.com/mcnbkph8

    Reply
  2. I am so sorry for this loss. This is an amazing family and a community will help them through.

    Reply

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