“It’s almost like a carpet gets pulled out from underneath you when something like this happens. You really have no possessions,” stated Sam Slivinski.
Slivinski and his roommate grabbed a pair of shoes, the only thing they could get from their apartment at this time. It looks like they’ve lost nearly everything.
“I had everything in my snowboard bag, so I was wearing snow pants and a snow jacket for awhile,” he explained.
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Joe Catalano and his management team at the Northwoods East apartments have been sifting through the debris trying to rescue the most personal items.
“It’s a bad situation, but when you see people’s joy when you’re walking out the door with what picture they’re looking for, that piece of jewelry, it’s right in the heart,” Catalano said.
The good news is that all of the people and pets got out of the building safely. While more than 50 people are homeless, this story of starting over in life has a silver lining.
Several churches and their congregations donated thousands of items from clothes to toys, blankets, electronics, gift cards and cash to help people get back on their feet.
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“We’ve actually made care packages of the essentials that we know people can use…We literally packed up boxes and put them in the back of the truck to deliver them door to door this morning,” explained Catalano.
The fire broke out in the middle of the day on Thursday and is still under investigation. For now, this community is standing by each other until everyone gets back on their feet.