Nova Scotia

Families impacted by Mulgrave Park fire 'overwhelmed' as donations pour in

The families who lost their homes in the recent fire in the Halifax neighbourhood of Mulgrave Park are overwhelmed with the amount of support and donations. A community donation drive Monday saw piles of household items donated, while a crowdfunding campaign hit nearly $50,000.

Nearly $50,000 was raised through a crowdfunding campaign

Damage is shown from the Mulgrave Park fire that displaced four families. (David Laughlin/CBC)

The families who lost their homes in the recent fire in the Halifax neighbourhood of Mulgrave Park are overwhelmed with the amount of support and donations, which shows there are "still kind hearts out there," says one community member.

Elaine Williams and others from the neighbourhood collected an ever-growing pile of household donations at the Isleville Park playground on Monday.

"The community is there for them, and we're just trying to help them out and make sure everything … goes great when they move into their new homes," Williams told CBC's Mainstreet on Monday.

They had beds, coffee makers, curtains, groceries and more dropped off Monday. All items were new, just to be extra safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public housing has been working closely with the families, which Williams said has found them new homes. They are now gathering and organizing their items, and are tentatively set to move by this Friday.

Elaine Williams has been helping to gather donations for the families impacted by the Mulgrave Park fire. (Eileen McInnis/CBC)

The crowdfunding campaign set up by the anti-racism activist group GameChangers902 also had raised $47,980 as of Monday evening, which was about five times the initial goal.

In an update Monday, the group said they are winding down the financial campaign and will begin dispersing funds when the GoFundMe verification process is complete.

Williams has spoken with the families and said they're all very strong people and "overwhelmed with the kindness" that strangers have shown them.

"It shows that we have a beautiful city that will stick together. And when people need help, it shows that there's still kind hearts out there," she said.

"It's a lot for them to take in, but they are so happy that they're getting the help that they need. And we appreciate it, our community appreciates it."

But there are many things that can't be replaced, Williams said, like items connected with special memories or from mothers and fathers who are now gone.

"I think that's really on their minds right at the moment," she said.

Firefighters on scene at the Mulgrave Park fire on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. (Paul Poirier/CBC)

Last Tuesday, fire crews and paramedics were called to the 3400 block of Barrington Street just before 9 a.m. AT to respond to the fire, which tore through four units of a townhouse complex.

Since then, five adults and five children have been looked after by the Canadian Red Cross. Williams said the kids range in age from about nine months to 13 years.

A 28-year-old Halifax woman has been charged with one count of arson with a disregard for human life in relation to the fire. She will appear in court at a later date.