When a fire at the Forest Acres apartment complex in Haverhill, MA left 46 people homeless, the community was completely devastated. The fire was caused by improper disposal of smoking materials and also resulted in a 10-acre brush fire in the woods behind the building. As news spread of the fire, local business stepped in and not only offered words of support, but financial assistance as well. U-Haul was one of those businesses.
U-Haul is offering 30 days of free storage to the persons affected in the apartment fire in Massachusetts. Evacuees and other residents will get free storage, and U-Box portable moving and self-storage pods, by the U-Haul Company of Oceanside. Residents will be able to move what is left of their belongings out of the damaged apartment complex and into a clean and safe storage unit while they figure out their next steps.
U-Haul is also encouraging the apartment residents to take advantage of U-Haul’s Take a Box, Leave a Box. In this program, customers can return reusable boxes and take others as needed at no charge. U-Haul is urging anyone who has reusable boxes to drop them off instead of discarding them, so that another person in need is able to make use of the boxes.
The help is much needed and appreciated by the Haverhill residents since the fire has had a devastating impact on various members of the community. One resident of the apartment complex jumped from the burning building with her 18-month old son in an attempt to save his life. Christina Simoes and her son survived the fall but she may never walk again. Her son was unharmed. Stories like Christina’s prompted are what prompted businesses all throughout Haverhill to open both hearts and wallets and help.
According to Scott Chase, president, U-Haul Company of Eastern Massachusetts, "This fire ripped through the Forest Acres Apartment Complex destroying parts of the building and causing an extreme amount of damage to others, " he said. "I hope this effort will help provide assistance to the dozens of residents and families who need our support. We will do our best to help our friends and neighbors in this time of need."
Similar to the to the services provided by U-Haul, other businesses stepped into help persons affected by the wild fires in San Diego. Sunland RV Resorts is offering evacuees free nights at its parks in Escondido, La Mesa, and El Cajon. AirBNB has dedicated a website where people with extra space in their homes can offer evacuees some shelter or for those with no place to stay to find some accommodation. The YMCA is offering free child care and Luna Grill is providing food to responders and shelters in the area.
Persons who can provide assistance to those in affected by the fires in Haverhill or San Diego are encouraged to follow the footsteps of those in the self storage industry and help in any way they can