Winnipeg group helps families replace household items lost in fire

A movement to end violence in Winnipeg’s North End shifted its focus Friday, devoting its weekly meeting to help families that lost everything in a fire earlier this week.

Meet Me at The Bell Tower uses weekly meeting to ask for donations for victims of apartment fire

Michael Champagne, Meet Me at the Bell Tower founder, and members of the Bear Clan Patrol held a meeting on Selkirk Avenue Friday night asking for donations to help those who lost everything in a Dufferin Avenue apartment fire Tuesday. (CBC)

A movement to end violence in Winnipeg's North End shifted its focus Friday, devoting its weekly meeting to help families that lost everything in a fire earlier this week.

A Dufferin Street apartment complex went up in flames on Tuesday. Eight suites were destroyed in the blaze.

Representatives with the province and Manitoba Housing, which owns the building, said they are working to find people displaced by the fire another place to live.

On Friday, organizers with Meet Me at the Bell Tower used Friday's meeting to bring attention to the plight of those who lost their homes.
Firefighters battle this blaze in the 600 block of Dufferin Avenue on Tuesday afternoon. (Caroline Barghout/CBC)

The Bear Clan Patrol, a group that walks the streets of the North End to provide an added sense of safety, got involved, too.

"We've got 29, 29 people in seven families, 17 children, 12 adults starting from scratch in the winter," James Favel, a member of the patrol, said at the meeting on Selkirk Avenue.

"It's really nice to see the village come together and embrace these people that are fallen."

The patrol is asking people to donate household items, clothes and money to help those affected.

Jessica Thomas and her kids were among those impacted by the fire.

The single mother of four told CBC News that her kids were having a hard time processing what happened.

"I don't think they really understand the extent of what happened yet — they just know that we can't go back to the house," Thomas told CBC News on the same day of the fire.

Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre Inc., located at 445 King St., is collecting financial donations. Clothes and furniture can be dropped off at 509 Selkirk Ave.


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