‘It’s a beautiful day’: Waterbury community rallies around family that lost home in huge condo fire

New Haven

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — An outpouring of support at The Elks Lodge 265. Members rallying around the family of one of its members who lost their home in a large fire last month at the Meadowbrook East Condominiums in Waterbury.

The fire displaced families in 8 units, including Clyde Wilkins’ family. Their home is now filled with holes in the roof, shattered glass, and smoke damage.

RELATED: Heroes emerge from Waterbury condo fire that displaced 12 adults, families in 8 units

Among the very few items they’ve been able to salvage — old wedding and family photos, framed and hanging on the wall.

Since the fire, Clyde and his wife, Gina, say their lives have been turned upside down. They say the city and The Red Cross have helped them on the road to recovery — the city providing them with an apartment. The Red Cross with shelter, as well, and clothes. A family member has stepped up too, offering them a room.

“Stressful every day just getting our lives back together,” Clyde said.

“It’s been very emotional, very depressing, it feels like we’re mourning,” Gina said.

Their friends, who gathered for a benefit to help them get back on their feet, were emotional, too. Some of them were worried they were going to have to mourn them.

“I’m sorry I’m getting so emotional,” said Philip Turro, a family friend. “But this is my heart.”

The Elks Lodge #265 in Waterbury, where Clyde is a member, was more than honored to host the benefit fundraiser.

“You know, that’s what we do. We’re the benevolent and protective Order of Elks,” said Elks member Mike Gannon. “We were very concerned about their safety and of course, afterward how they were going to get back on their feet.”

There’s no word yet how much the benefit fundraiser collected for Wilkins’s family. But, whatever is collected may allow them to buy new clothes and furniture for their new apartment that Clyde says the City of Waterbury has been able to secure for them.

And they could be moving in as soon as this weekend.

“It’s a beautiful day,” Clyde told the crowd in attendance. “A brand new day.”

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