UNION TWP., Pa. - Just days before Thanksgiving, several people are without their belongings and their homes after a fire at a condo complex in Union Township, Hunterdon County in New Jersey.
The fire broke out Saturday night at Union Hill condominiums. People in 18 condos are displaced.
"You always wondered if it could happen and now you've seen that it happened and it's right in your own backyard and it's just tragic around the holidays now," said Kathleen Korpita, a neighbor who used to live in the condo complex.
The fire is still under investigation but the property manager told 69 News it was not a gas or electric issue.
"I feel bad but I still have my stuff," said Diane Pamula, whose condo is at the end of the building that caught fire. Her condo was not burned but she has water damage. "It feels a little surreal.'
Another neighbor, Sue Wyckoff, said, "My heart goes out to them, really, it was horrific. They come back almost every day, somebody comes back and they just stare at the rubble, they don't know what to do with themselves."
The community support has been overwhelming and donations poured in at a Holiday Inn down the street in Clinton.
Erin Palma brought her kids to the donation site to help however they could.
She said, "I wanted to come out and see if I could volunteer to help with the stuff that had already come in and I thought it was important for the kids because we've been talking about the fire a lot and I keep saying to them instead of talking about it, let's go do something to help."
Her five-year-old son, Patrick, said "It's better to help and not just stand and just look at fires all day, you should just help people."
Ten-year-old Alijah Norris was also helping. He said, "They don't have homes and they need clothes and things that they need."
Alijah's mom, Anna Marie, said, "Makes me sad, you don't want to see anybody have to go through this, especially this time of year."
If you would like to help you can give a check or gift cards. You can drop them off at the Town of Clinton municipal building or send them to the Clinton Sunrise Rotary at P.O. Box 5435 Clinton, New Jersey 08809. In the check subject lines, write "Union Hill fire."
Allentown, PA 18102
- Lehigh Valley 69 News