BETHEL Donations sought for fire victim

November 26, 2018

BETHEL — The town is collecting donations for the man whose Plumtrees Heights condo was destroyed in a fire Saturday evening.

The resident lost everything, from his wallet to his computer, said Megan Alworth-Khazadian, the town’s social services director who spoke to him Monday. He has been wearing someone else’s clothes, she said.

“He’s in shock,” Alworth-Khazadian said. “It’s hard for him to think about what he needs. He needs everything from scratch.”

Alworth-Khazadian said residents could send donations to the Community Council of Bethel. Checks can be mailed to town hall and made out to the council, with the memo “fire victim.”

She said the man is on Social Security. He retired in December 2005 from his job as a cameraman with CBS, where the weight of the camera had injured his spinal cord.

His children are in the Navy and Marines. His son recently left for a tour and the man has not been able to tell him about the fire, yet, Alworth-Khazadian said.

Alworth-Khazadian said he has been staying with his elderly parents, but is not sure if he will live there permanently. His insurance company has told him it could be another six months before he could move back into his condo, she said.

Community members have already reached out to the resident.

“He’s just very touched by the support he’s received and outreach,” Alworth-Khazadian said. “People that care, strangers that care.”

The fire started in the second-floor bedroom of the unit on Deer Run Road Saturday evening, Fire Marshal Tom Galliford said.

When Stony Hill Volunteer Fire Company arrived, the company said flames were coming from the back of the second floor. Police helped evacuate residents from nearby units and firefighters knocked down the flames in 20 minutes.

The resident, who had been in the bedroom, suffered minor burns on his feet, Galliford said. A police officer also hurt his hand while helping the fire department. Both were sent to the hospital, but released the same night, Galliford said.

He expects to finish his report on the fire within the next few days, but he said the blaze appears to have started accidentally.

Red Cross is helping both the resident whose condo was destroyed and his neighbors, who suffered smoke damage, Galliford said. Fire damage was contained to the one unit, he said.

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