The number of people homeless from the 10-alarm fire that ripped through a neighborhood in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Saturday, has grown to 125.
“We are lucky that nobody died, but going forward this is not going to be something where you go over it and get over it, sure we will survive but it’s really traumatic,” said Zeinat Ibrahim through tears.
The reality of the raging fire has barely sunk in.
And now those displaced by the fire are left scrambling to put their lives back together - sorting out insurance claims, replacing important documents and finding a permanent place to live.
“It’s really difficult for me right now to ask for help because I never had to ask for help and I’m really trying my best to put my pride aside,” said Hewan Mesmer, who was displaced by the fire.
Mesmer and her college-aged brother and sister were a few of the dozens of fire victims who went to Cambridge City Hall Monday to get assistance from the Fire Recovery Resource Center that was quickly setup inside.
“In about 48 hours, Red Cross services may come to an end, we want to make sure they’re met with city services or state services so they can continue to be housed, continue to be fed, and continued to be clothed,” said Cambridge Mayor Denise Simmons.
And just 48 hours after the fire started, thousands of people had donated more than $375,000 through the Cambridge Mayor's Fire Relief Fund.
And donations just kept coming in, like from Lorraine Murphy, the wife of a former deputy fire chief whose son helped battle the fire Saturday.
“Oh you have to help, this is our community,” said Murphy.
The outpouring of support is something that’s helping these families keep their spirits up as they come to terms with what happened.
“We will replace the memories but we have each other to make it through,” Ibrahim said.
For Keith Griffin, his wife and six children, the city’s services and the hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to the mayor’s fund means the world to them, as they try to put the pieces of their lives back together.
“It means a lot, there’s a lot of peace of mind that releases a lot of stress from us,” said Griffin.
Monday night, Simmons posted on her Twitter account that the city was still assessing how to distribute funds to each family/invidual impacted by the tragedy. She said if news isn't posted on www.cambridge.gov, that it should be considered misinformation.