PERRY TOWNSHIP, Ohio-- A fast-moving fire damaged or destroyed multiple trailer homes and vehicles at the Perry Mobile Home Park on North Ridge Road in Perry Township Monday night.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but witnesses reported seeing sparks and then flames near an outdoor light pole.
“Some of the families noticed flames through their windows, and they ran outside and it was just so fast,” said Veronica Dahlberg, Executive Director of HOLA Ohio. "It was a very hot fire and it spread really quickly over some sheds, and then the trailers themselves.”
Firefighters from multiple communities, including Perry, responded and got the blaze under control, but the intense heat totally destroyed several trailer homes, displacing three families.
On Tuesday night, Dahlberg met with those families, and others whose homes sustained damage from the heat and soot. She three of the homes are demolished and six are uninhabitable right now.
HOLA Ohio is trying to help them out because all of the victims are Mexican-American immigrants, who she said are unable to afford insurance.
“These are immigrant families that just work really, really hard trying to raise their families and already been through so much,” Dahlberg said. “And this is the off season for the nurseries, so people are not working during those months and have to rough it out until the season begins in March.”
HOLA Ohio is asking for clothing donations for the families and/or cash to help the families through this difficult time.
One of the fire victims attends Perry schools so the Perry High School Social Committee is also collecting donations in the form of cash, check or gift cards. Checks can be made out to the PHS Committee and donations can be dropped off at any school office.
Additionally Dahlberg said, they’re looking for people who might know how to clean up and remove the charred debris.
“Looks like they’re going to rule it ‘undetermined’ so there won’t be any insurance company paying for the clean up,” she said. “I don’t know what we’re gonna do because there’s like glass back there and it’s very dangerous.”
Anyone interested in helping can contact Dahlberg directly through HOLA Ohio.