Community works to support families left homeless after Willows of Springdale fire

Posted at 5:30 PM, Jul 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-18 21:55:26-04

SPRINGDALE, Ohio -- Rolondo Escalante replays the night he and his family escaped a fire at the Willows of Springdale apartments.

Another resident had left a stove on when she fell asleep. The subsequent fire, on July 8, affected two buildings. Escalante, his wife and their three children escaped, but their home burned. The damage was so severe they couldn't return; seven other families also were displaced.

Some of them were left basically homeless.

But people in their community wanted to show they're not alone. Irma Carleton, with the Healing Center, is one of several people working to support the 40 fire victims.

"The expense keeps happening after the fire, and we forget that sometimes. It's been a week now since that fire, and they're still continuing to lose," Carleton said.


The group met Tuesday. They're looking for clothes, food and other necessities many people lost in the fire.

Springdale Health Commissioner Matt Clayton started getting people together to help immediately afterward. He's hopeful the community will continue to make sure the eight families get back on their feet.

"I'm overwhelmed every day at the generosity of this community, overwhelmed at the community support," he said.

For now, Escalante and his family have tight sleeping quarters. But he said he couldn't be more grateful.

"Thank Jesus and thank you everybody for helping me," he said.

If you want to help

Matt Clayton, Health Commissioner

Irma Carleton, The Healing Center