SILVER SPRING, Md. (DC News Now) — Montgomery County is coming together to help the families affected by Saturday’s deadly fire at the Arrive Apartments.
“It’s been scary,” said Gianna Gronowski and partner, Em Espey, as they discussed the last day since the fire forced them and more than 400 people from the apartment complex.
The fire started on the seventh floor of Tower-A.
“For the past 24 hours, It’s been a lot of unknowns,” Gronowski said. “We’ve been couch surfing amongst friends looking for a place to set some roots down for temporary.”
The two joined nearly a dozen families who turned out to the Coffield Recreation Center Sunday, to find out what help is available to them. The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, DHSS, along with the American Red Cross, answered questions, which in many cases involved financial assistance.
“There are really so many people hurting really bad right now, hitting rock bottom,” Espy said. “I know these resources, they mean a lot to us, but they mean a lot more to so many other people too.”
Volunteers felt it was something they had to do to help those displaced.
“I would rather do nothing else on a Sunday afternoon than be there to be what I consider to be a good samaritan to someone who’s not having a good week,” said American Red Cross volunteer Sharon Allan.
The relief center set up inside has closed since there was not much need for it. But those affected can still find help virtually.
“We typically find, especially in a disaster, people tend to spread out,” said Patrick Campbell, senior planning manager for Mass Care of DHSS. “And sometimes, most often that virtual outreach works out a lot better.”
Close to 30 families, according to Campbell, sought assistance virtually.
Investigators have not released the name of the person killed in the fire. There was also no word as of Sunday on what sparked the three alarm fire.