Last night's Board of Selectmen meeting began with a moment of silence as residents Stefani Bush and Karen Uttecht spoke before the Chelmsford Board of Selectmen and discussed their efforts in supporting the victims of Saturday night’s fire at Woodcrest Condominiums which claimed the lives of two residents.
Bush and Uttecht have organized relief efforts and centralized them with this Facebook page. They updated the town last night on what donations would be most useful.
“We have so many clothes,” said Uttecht. “There are piles and piles at the senior center,” she explained. Uttecht, who spent hours with victims on the night of the tragedy, stated that there will be enough clothes to donate to other charities.
“These families have very unique needs,” she continued. The pair recommended that gift cards and cash are the most useful items for victims.
Donations will be used for everything from groceries to computers to communicate with loved ones.
Gift cards can be dropped off at the Chelmsford Center Fire Station. Checks can be made out to Woodcrest Fire Relief Fund and can be dropped off at Enterprise Bank on Littleton Road.
“We have had an incredible amount of support from our citizens,” said Bush. Even the Red Cross itself was surprised at the outpouring of support from Chelmsford community members.
“The Red Cross couldn’t believe how much the support was,” Uttecht told the board.
“It exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism in town,” added board chairman Jon Kurland.
A meeting will be held at the Chelmsford Senior Center tonight at 7pm for those interested in being part of a committee to help victims.
The entire town is invited at 8 p.m. to make donations and show their support. The committee will share information on how best to help those affected and share the progress they have already made.
“I’m just overwhelmed at the incredible community I’m in,” concluded Uttecht.
The two residents, Susan Astle and Paul Deslauriers, each passed away in the fire that took about two hours to control.
Investigation on the fire is still underway by members of the Chelmsford Police/Fire investigation unit, State Troopers assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and State Troopers assigned to the Office of the Middlesex County District Attorney.