After the Ocean Grove fire: Helping those in need
NEPTUNE — As the clean up and investigation of Friday's massive fire in Ocean Grove continues, those who lost their lives in the blaze start the process of putting their lives back together.
The immediate area on Seaview Avenue where the 5-alarm fire burned through seven buildings, including the abandoned Warrington House and Lapierre condos, remained closed on Saturday as the investigation into the cause of the fire continues by the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office and the county Fire Marshall, according to Neptune Township Business Administrator Vito Gadaleta.
"Our mayor and Township Committee are committed to finding the cause and assisting residents who need help," Gadaleta said.
Gadaleta said utilities on the south side facing the fire have been restored and that the Marlboro Condominiums are fully occupied by residents. Residents of 40 units in the LaPierre will be allowed access to collect their personal items on Saturday and then restoration will begin, according to Gadaleta.
Two structures affected by the fire were substantially damaged, according to Gadaleta, who said a total of four buildings will need to be demolished.
Gadaleta said a search of the Warrington did not indicate anyone was living inside the building, which which was undergoing renovation work.
Helping Those Affected by the Fire
Spokeswoman Diane Concannon of the New Jersey chapter of the American Red Cross said they helped 23 people from 16 families on Friday who came to St. Paul's Church.
"As far as we know everyone has been helped, fed, and now have places to stay," Richard Hendrickson, the church's pastor wrote on his Facebook page. "I am so proud of our staff, church folks, and community for an amazing day of being the hands and feet of Jesus. The Red Cross did an awesome job and we were blessed to partner with them in this undertaking."
To donate to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief, which helps communities prepare for, respond to and help people in all disasters, visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park is working with the Monmouth County SPCA to help those with pets and collecting cat and dog supplies such as pet food, beds, leashes, toys or anything related for those displaced by the fire. Donations can be dropped off at the bar located at Fifth and Ocean avenues on Saturday starting at 7 p.m. and from noon until 7 p.m. on Sunday.
Proceeds from the cover charge from Wonder Jam's post St. Patrick's Day parade party on Sunday, March 12, will also be donated to St. Paul's Church to assist victims of the fire.
At least six GoFundMe accounts have been set up to help those affected by the fire which have have nearly reached or exceeded their goals.
- Kerry's Fund, a woman whose apartment was affected by the fire
- Caitlin Moran, a 9th and 10th grade English teacher at Point Pleasant Borough High School and her fiance', Julian Jensen
- Cynthia and John, an engaged couple who lost their home
- Wendy Smith, treasurer for the Monmouth County Association of Realtors
- Stacey and Rebecca, an 8th grader at Spring Lake Elementary School who have been displaced along with their 4 cats.
- Jimmy Murphy & Nancy Francese, a couple married for just over a year that lost everything in the fire
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquarem, edia.com.
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