Amal Ishak, owner, of Cream Boutique on Liberty Street, was in Arizona several weeks ago when she first learned of a devastating fire on Lander Street that killed one, injured another and displaced a family.
Ishak followed any news and updates on the situation and found out that a displaced family, a mother and four children, all girls, needed help with supplies and donations to get back on their feet. They were said to have been living in a local hotel for the time being.
Seeing a fundraising page and getting in touch with the mother, Ishak began collecting donations and supplies for the family during this difficult time.
Ishak also was able to get in touch with Sharon Toney-Finch, founder and chairman of the YIT Foundation and worked with her to get more supplies for the family. Last Monday, several bags of supplies and donations were delivered to the family at the hotel that they were staying in and they were truly grateful for what had been done for them.
Ishak has shared any information and updates on the family through her social media profiles and platform and also received Venmo donations along with Amazon, Target and other store gift cards for the family.
Following this recent tragedy, Ishak is grateful for the support and donations from her friends and community members but is concerned about what needs to be done in order to prevent a situation like this from ever happening again.
Resident James Kelly, who works as a carpenter by trade, was working in the nearby area and remembered seeing the displaced family the night before, happy and well before the fire. Kelly also remembered the mother and son from the building and then heard about the tragedy heading to work the next morning.
This recent fire on Lander follows a fire that took place at 11 South Miller Street as a result of a squatters’ candle. Residents came before city council officials to express their concerns and frustrations, mainly with the codes department and are looking for more code reinforcement in building safety. Reports on the Lander Street fire indicated that smoke detectors were functional but fire extinguishers and a fire escape were not available for residents to utilize. These two factors are not required in single or two-family residential buildings.