NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- Twenty-one days and counting: that's how long 200 people, who used to call a New Haven apartment building home, have been living in hotels.
They were forced out of their apartments at the Bella Vista senior living community by fire. And with no definitive date on when they can return home, many of them are in need of help.
Some folks are able to live in their apartments, but want to help their Bella Vista neighbors who are still displaced 21 days after the electrical fire wiped out the power grid in part of building D.
"God bless the fact that they are alive, that's our main concern that everybody survived there."
The electrical fire on August 14th wiped out power to over 171 units. There is also smoke and water damage: reasons folks can't come home and are now staying at area hotels.
Bella Vista owner, the Carabetta Management, is covering the hotel costs.
Alderwoman Barbara Constantinople says the rooms don't have kitchens, so despite donated food, they aren't able to cook. And the usual shuttle service to medical appointments isn't available.
So an official fund is raising money to help out.
"I'm sure we are going to work it out and my concern is for people to get taken care of, which we are doing," said Constantinople. "We are doing the fundraiser for the people to have something when they come back or now."
"The fund money is going to be used for food and transportation and the medicines for these residents of Bella Vista," said L.R. Codianni, Bella Vista Fire Fund.
Building management says progress is underway, and while was there new carpets arrived. Crews are also working on installing new electrical equipment.
"We had some water damage to some units and we have crews that are here working on that now replacing sheet rock, painting," said Bill Johnson, building manager.
There is not a target date, however, the goal is to get the power back on and residents back in by the end of next week.
For anyone interested in helping out, residents told the Bella Vista Fire Fund members what they need most is food, transportation/gas money, and replacement of items damaged by smoke/water.
Donations will be collected at Stop & Shop in East Haven on September 21-22.
Donations can also be sent to:
Bella Vista Fire Fund
258 Grand Ave.
New Haven, CT 06513
For more information call L.R. Codianni at 203-996-6992 or e-mail email@example.com.
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