Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh announced Thursday that the city will donate clothing to the fire victims and make a call to action for Patersonians to help their neighbors in a citywide clothing drive.
- --this half-hour with more than 70 people homeless after house fires in Paterson, New Jersey, over the weekend.
- Well, today the community came together with a plan to try to help their neighbors. New Jersey reporter Toni Yates live there with more. Toni?
TONI YATES: Exactly, guys. Our neighbors just really need some help right now. With all of the devastation that COVID-19 has caused all of us over this past year, some families have even more loss. And this time, to help them, all they're asking for is clean, usable clothing.
ANDRE SAYEGH: We've been ravaged by fires. In fact, since Valentine's Day, 136 Paterson residents have been displaced by fires.
TONI YATES: All that devastation, all the loss. But thanks to the work of the Paterson fire department, these brave men and women, none of these recent fires took any lives, though not everyone came out unscathed.
ANDRE SAYEGH: There was also a daring rescue at one of the fires, as well, and very few injuries in the fires that we've had this year. In fact, those that have been injured have been members of our fire department.
FRANK CALAMITA: I was-- personally, I had three of these fires. And they were extremely rough, hard working fires. And the guys did the best they could to save as much property as we could.
TONI YATES: The mayor and the fire department have taken their help to the fire victims one step farther--
- I see a lot of white--
TONI YATES: --leading a clothing drive to help families who lost everything. The Red Cross and extended family are providing temporary housing, but we're talking about more than a hundred people who were left with only the clothing they were wearing, and donations are coming in.
ANDRE SAYEGH: We already have a shipment that we received, and we will have them stationed at our firehouses. For anyone that would like to contribute, we are accepting donations for those fire victims.
TONI YATES: And we're talking about clean, usable clothing for all ages. And once again, those donations can be dropped off at any firehouse here in Paterson, New Jersey. For now, we're--