St. Vincent de Paul asks for donations following fire in apartment building

Personal items destroyed by a fire that broke out Aug. 3 in the de Paul Apartment building on South Preston Street were left on the sidewalk. The organization is asking for donations of household items, bedding, childrens clothes and diapers. (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)

A fire that broke out Aug. 3 on the second floor of the de Paul Apartments on South Preston Street displaced the 12 families who call the complex home.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul CEO David Calzi said Aug. 5 that the Louisville Fire Department was on site within minutes and everyone inside, including pets, made it out safely. Firefighters contained the fire to the unit where it originated and several surrounding units sustained water and smoke damage.

The apartment building sits next to the St. Vincent de Paul Success Center, where the displaced families were able to gather to eat pizza, talk with counselors and connect with the Red Cross to find temporary housing.

“The Red Cross was here within 30, 40 minutes,” Calzi said. “They met with every family. The restoration company was there that night, too.”

Some units later that evening were deemed undamaged and those families were allowed back into their homes. Other families were given rooms elsewhere on campus, some arranged to stay with friends and others went to hotels.

“The de Paul Apartments are these people’s homes, so we’re working diligently” to make sure their needs are met, Calzi said. “Everyone is housed, everyone is safe,” but there isn’t a timeline yet for when all families will be able to return to the building.

Some of the immediate needs are items so ravaged by smoke or fire damage, they’re irreparable. Calzi said they need donations of diapers, children’s shoes and clothes, bedding, towels, washcloths and dishes, among other things.

He said they’re fortunate firefighters didn’t have to go through the roof, but he anticipates insurance won’t cover all of the expenses, and cash donations are also accepted.

“We appreciate all the support from the community,” he said.

Donations can be dropped off at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul administrative building, 1015-C South Preston. Monetary donations can be marked for fire recovery efforts.

Following a Wednesday evening fire, windows were boarded up on the second floor of the de Paul apartment building. (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)

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