4 Families Lose Everything in Fatal Fire, Now They Need Help from Community

- February 4, 2014 - Several families lose everything after a devastating fire Monday that claimed the life of a 4-year-old.

It's been a difficult day and a half for 16 people who lost everything, including a child.

Fato Abdi, 4, was pronounced dead at the scene Monday after fire ripped through a multi-unit apartment at 2525 German Street.

Fire investigators are still looking for a cause, but in the meantime, the families displaced from their home need your help.

Firefighters fought the fire for more than three hours, as fire inspector guy Santone searched for a cause, ultimately returning Tuesday and spending the day investigating.

The four families who lived in the apartments came to America from refugee camps in Somalia.

Fato's parents have been here for 10 years, another family has been here for seven years and two other families just nine months.

They are left with nothing and are currently being assisted by the Erie Chapter of the American Red Cross.

The children range in age 16 to 9-months-old.

The families will be accommodated at a hotel for three nights while the Multicultural Community Resource Center, the International Institute of Erie, Catholic Charities and the Quality of Life Learning Center will help them find an apartment.

If you want to help the family, you can call the Multicultural Community Resource Center at 455-0212 or drop donations there at 554 East 10th Street.

They are in need of clothing, school supplies, furniture, bedding, food and monetary donations that will help with the more than $2,000 funeral costs.

The latest information released from MCRC:
Monetary donation to support the Somalian families who were victims of a house fire yesterday can be made to payable to “MCRC – Refugee Emergency Fund.”

These can be sent to the Multicultural Community Resource Center, 554 East 10th Street, Erie, PA 16503.

Clothing donations can be dropped at the Cultural Enrichment Center (next to MCRC), 538 East 10th Street, Erie, PA 16503 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

The ages and sexes of the children needing clothing are as follows: 5 boys: ages 9 months, 5 years, 6 years, 7 years and 13 years; 4 girls: ages 8 years, 9 years, 11 years and 16 years.

No clothing sizes are available.

For Furniture donations please call MCRC directly or email Nathan Koble at nkoble@multiculturalcrc.org.

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