Community raises funds for residents displaced by Park Avenue fire

The community is banding together to raise funds for victims of the Park Avenue fire that sent nine residents to the hospital.

The fire ripped through five units of the apartments on the 800 block of Park Avenue. As a result, 44 were displaced.  Two residents remain in critical condition as of Saturday.

So far, an online campaign has gathered nearly $15,000 to help families displaced by the incident. The campaign was jumpstarted by former Town of Herndon mayor Lisa Merkel and Megan Ferguson.

The fire was caused by a charging cable in the bedroom of an apartment, according to fire officials.

The Herndon Police Department had to halt accepting donations at the department’s lobby after an overwhelming amount of donations. 

“Amazing! No other word to describe this community and its generosity. We have run out of space here at HPD HQ,” the police department wrote in a statement.

Now, the police department is only accepting gift cards. VISA, MasterCard and AMEX gift cards are needed to cover rent, bills, and groceries. The department is also accepting Target and Walmart gift cards.

Smoke alarms in the building were not working at the time of the incident, according to fire officials.

At Weird Brothers Coffee in the Town of Herndon, Paul Olsen and his staff became a satellite location to accept donations.

“As of [Sunday], Weird Brothers Coffee have collected enough clothing, personal hygiene items, diapers, snacks, and small toys and games for kids and books to fill our truck and take over to the Police Station five times,” Olsen told Reston Now.

The local coffee shop — which prides itself in its local roots — also raised $1,000 from sales on Saturday to help victims impacted by the fire.

“We have been very touched and amazed at the outpouring and speed of the support for all of these families. It is so wonderful to see a community come together in a time of need,” Olsen said.

Photo via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

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