Emergency officials meet with Westfield fire victims - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Emergency officials meet with Westfield fire victims

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(Western Mass News photo (Western Mass News photo
WESTFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

The harsh realities are setting in for families who lost so much in a quick-moving fire Sunday in Westfield.

Today, emergency officials met with victims to come up with a plan to get them back on their feet.

This is sinking in now for many of these families and many are still working on a game plan to move on with their lives after the fire. 

"It's a very traumatic experience going through that...something that most people hopefully never have to go through," said Chris Besse with MEMA.

A fast moving fire on Sunday left more than 50 people without anything.

Now, they are trying to take the next steps in rebuilding their lives.

"The most immediate need is to those with children, getting them back into the pace of life and finding more permanent housing other than a hotel room," said Jim Wiggs with Westfield Emergency Management.

Today, state and local emergency management officials - along with social service organizations - came together.

Victims worked hand-in-hand to come up with a plan moving forward.

"There are tables set up for one-on-one counseling for the various groups.  Everything from mental health care, to transitional assistance, to help if they lost their passports or immigration papers or anything," Wiggs noted.

The complex management company, Peabody Properties, Inc., told Western Mass News that "They provided each household with a $750 stipend and $1,000 for immediate relocation costs."

The company also said that they are assisting residents with applications for new housing.

"Everybody is stepping up to help their neighbors best they can," Wiggs said.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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