By Cody Mello-Klein | [email protected]
A three-alarm fire caused severe damage to a Del Ray duplex on Nov. 19, displacing two families but resulting in no injuries, according to the Alexandria Fire Department.
AleAFD responded to the fire in a two-story duplex in the 100 block of East Del Ray Avenue around 6 p.m. After arriving, firefighters, with assistance from members of the American Red Cross, were able to evacuate two adults and a child from the building, with no injuries to either the residents or first responders, according to a Tweet from AFD. The cause of the fire is still unknown, but fire marshals are investigating the origin of the incident.
Shortly after the fire, on Saturday, the Del Ray Citizens Association set up a GoFundMe page with the initial goal of raising $5,000 for the two families that were displaced by the fire. Within two hours, the campaign had hit its starting goal. As of Tuesday, the campaign had raised $35,735 on its way to a $40,000 goal.
“Some of you may be aware, but the families lost everything. They ran out of their homes with only the clothes they were wearing,” the DRCA wrote in an update on the GoFundMe page. “The money you’ve donated is helping them rebuild their lives and come as close to ‘normal’ as possible – we all know the importance of getting back to normal after these past few years.”
According to Katie Waynick, a member of the DRCA board, the money will be split evenly between the two families. One family has already found temporary housing in Alexandria, while the second family is staying with family elsewhere in Northern Virginia.
To contribute to the GoFundMe, visit https://www.gofundme. com/f/DelRayFireVictims.
The DRCA was not the only Del Ray group to spring into action to support the two families: Bellies & Babies, a consignment store located at 1913 Mt. Vernon Ave., also started a collection to support the two families with household items, gift cards and food. Bellies & Babies is currently looking for size five diapers, size six shoes, toys and books, socks, jackets, pants, shirts, blankets, gift cards to Target, Amazon or local restaurants and food and snacks.
Drop off donations at Bellies & Babies’ Mount Vernon Avenue location.