Three-alarm fire scorches warehouse, donations needed

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A local charity group is seeking donations after a large fire tore through its main warehouse early Sunday morning.

Allen Klein takes a look at the Helping Hands inventory after smoke filled the warehouse full of donations. Furniture and mattresses are marked with delivery dates that will never be delivered.

“We need furniture, we are going to need dressers and beds. We need sofas, we need whatever anyone can donate to us,” said Klein.

West Haven firefighters got called out to a heavy three alarm fire morning Sunday morning. The blaze broke out in the back of the Helping Hands warehouse on Richards Street. Fire crews say it took them 30 minutes to knock down the blaze.

James O’Brien, Fire Chief with the West Haven Fire Department, said, “they did an aggressive attack from the exterior, they were able to knock down the shed and the fire from the outside. We had hand lines that stretched to the outside of the building in the first and second floor.”

Although the fire was contained to the back of the building, the smoke filled the warehouse damaging donations such as mattresses, furniture and clothing. The 1,500 square foot building feeds two thrift stores, Klein says it will take many pickup deliveries and generous drop offs to replenish the warehouse.

Klein adds, “it took months of pick ups to fill a building like this,” with two trucks on the road everyday picking up donations. Helping Hands is a community thrift store and furniture bank and gives back to 175 different charities. Klein says, “so when somebody donates to us through Helping Hands, some of the profits go back to that part of the profits go back to the charity they chose on out list.”

If you’d like to help rebuild Helping Hands’ inventory, you can call 203-782-4800 or go to

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