Four Civil War-era homes have been torn down and a relief effort for displaced residents has begun after a fire ripped through a block of row houses in Albany's Center Square neighborhood.
No one was injured in Monday night's fire, which resulted in the demolition of 404, 406, 408, and 410, with efforts being made to stabilize 412 Madison Avenue. The fire forced more than a dozen residents from their homes. A cause of the fire has not been determined.
Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless is coordinating financial donations with the City of Albany and SEFCU through the Madison Avenue Fire Relief Fund. Parties may donate money to the individuals and families impacted by the Madison Avenue fire at any SEFCU branch, or by visiting InterfaithPartnership.com and noting Madison Avenue Fire Relief Fund on their donation.
At this time, clothing donations – although appreciated – are not being accepted. Those who are in need of clothing may visit Interfaith Partnership at 176 Sheridan Ave. or by calling (518) 434-8021.
“The response to Monday’s fire on Madison Avenue is another example of how our community comes together when our neighbors need it most,” said Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan. “Thank you to the Lark Street BID, SEFCU, and the Interfaith Partnership for helping those who have lost everything.”
“It’s beyond saddening. Our hearts go out to all those affected by this tragic fire. I know that if we come together, all of the businesses and residents along Lark Street can make a difference in restoring the victims’ lives in a meaningful fashion,” said Daniel S. Atkins, chairman, Lark Street BID.
“The fire, was undoubtedly heartbreaking and devastating for the residents affected. It is in these times of seemingly insurmountable challenges that a community such as the Lark Street quarter, comes together. We believe by working together and helping out our fellow neighbors on Madison Avenue, that brick by brick, piece by piece, they will be able to put together their lives in a more expedient way in order to move on in their lives,” said Shauna M. Collins, executive director, Lark Street BID.
Efforts are being put forth to provide immediate relief for those impacted by the fire, as well as prevention for the future. The fire has left people temporarily homeless and many with damaged or even destroyed belongings. There are multiple ways for the community to get involved and help those affected by the fire.
On Saturday, July 22 at 8 p.m., Savoy Taproom (301 Lark Street) will hold a fundraiser benefit in which proceeds will go to the relief fund. Admission is $10.
Each business on Lark Street is playing a part to help those in need through a street-wide collection drive. At each business there will be a jar or basket which will be clearly labeled. Donations to these locations will contribute to the relief fund to help those affected by the fire.
Efforts will continue to educate the public on fire prevention.
Associated Press contributed to this report.