Springfield man collecting donations for Belmont Ave. fire victims

(Western Mass News photo)

A devastating fire on Belmont Avenue in Springfield over the weekend has prompted one man to start a crusade to help those burned out of their homes.

On Tuesday, there was nothing but the sound of cars passing by this fire-damaged apartment complex on Belmont Avenue in Springfield.

The building went up in flames Sunday, leaving 20 families homeless and claiming the lives of a man and his two young children.

The impact is being felt across the city with a relief effort announced by Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and today, Keno White has started a movement of his own to help those in need.

"I see hopes, dreams, inspirations shattered, tarnished if you will. These are things that happen in life that we have to push through," White explained.

White is a Springfield native and like many, his heart goes out to those living at the Belmont Avenue building. That's why he is starting a donation drive, literally, of his own.

"Clothing, cribs, anything. Toiletries, anything that these people would need. It was a fire, they lost everything," White said.

White will be driving around neighborhoods for those looking to drop off anything that can help or you can also drop off items yourself at Tryba Auto Sales in Chicopee.

White already had made two stops before meeting with Western Mass News Tuesday morning. His SUV was full of clothes, blankets and more.

White turned to social media to voice his concerns. Well, his concerns were heard and in just two days, people across the city have answered the call.

"It's amazing how you can put up a post and so many people react, send you messages, want to help and get behind you," White noted.

However, more importantly, White wants to let the victims know that they are not alone.

"Life happens and situations happen, but it's up to us what we do with that anger, with the depression, with the emotional stress that comes with it," White said.

For those who wish to donate, you can contact White at (413) 356-8675 or drop the donations off to Tryba Auto Sales at 832 Meadow Street in Chicopee.

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

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