Victims of Westfield fire working to rebuild their lives - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Victims of Westfield fire working to rebuild their lives

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

A city official is telling us more about recovery efforts for those impacted by a weekend fire in Westfield as residents help their displaced neighbors.

Many families are trying to rebuild their lives after a fire tore through a Westfield apartment building.

More than 50 people displaced by a fire that tore through a Westfield apartment building and recovery efforts continue.

"The situation is really hard because a big amount of people lost their homes and I'm sure the management over here is doing everything they can," said Svyatoslav Ptashuk of Westfield.

In fact, a spokesperson for the city of Westfield told Western Mass News that Peabody Property Management, which manages Powdermill Village, is working with local emergency management and the fire department to organize a supervised, safety-driven process that will allow tenants to come back and salvage what personal belongings they can from their apartments.

There will be scheduled time slots for tenants next week.

"We were able to...get her out of the fire.  One of her neighbors was able to get her out," Ptashuk said.

Ptashuk said that his grandmother, in her 80s, lost her apartment and is currently staying with a relative and there's no word yet on if she'll live on her own again in the coming months.

"Since it's so recent what happened, there's still a lot of things to look at.  It's a big process, especially if it's a fire," Ptashuk said.

Investigators said that a cigarette discarded in a potted plant caused the fire.

There were working sprinklers and smoke detectors, but because the fire started outside, fire officials said that sprinklers couldn't do much once the flames crept indoors.

Cigarettes are a common cause of fires - in Westfield and in surrounding communities.

Fire officials said that the best way to discard of a cigarette is to toss it into a metal can with water or sand inside of it.

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

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