The Red Cross says a three-alarm fire at a four-story apartment building in Holyoke early Monday morning displaced 81 people, including 16 children, out of their homes. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries battling the blaze that engulfed the building on the corner of Elm and Dwight Streets. No residents were reported hurt. Mary Nathan, the disaster program manager at the Red Cross, says a temporary shelter has been set up at Holyoke’s War Memorial Building for families who don’t have another place to stay.
“Over the next few days what we’ll be doing is we’ll be working with each individual family to help them find a more long term recovery plan, some permanent housing and getting them what they need. We’re also dealing right now with people that have got lost medications as a result of the fire and lost medical equipment,” says Nathan.
Authorities say residents of apartments not too badly damaged may be allowed back in at some point to find valuables. The cause remains under investigation, but fire investigators say the blaze appears to have started on a fourth-floor porch.