Fire consumes 3 homes in Ponce; one affected family is open to help and donations
By Pedro Correa Henry
Special to The Star
To some, Wednesday was a day to celebrate and enjoy with loved ones amid a global pandemic that has made many stay in their homes. For others, it was yet another somber day.
One year after the earthquakes that shook the southern part of the island, the Puerto Rico Police Bureau reported that a fire in Ponce on Tuesday consumed a total of three houses on Industrial and Dulcinea Streets.
“Unfortunately, we lost everything inside our home,” Evenisse Rivera told the STAR on Wednesday after losing the house where she, her sister Evenlisse and brother Evan grew up together. None of them were inside the home when the fire occurred.
Rivera said they were in need of personal hygiene products. As for clothes, she said that she and her siblings already were receiving secondhand garments, for which she expressed gratitude.
“Actually, what worries us the most and takes away our sleep is to see how we can get some kind of funds to be able to fix the house little by little,” she said, adding that they were currently in the process of remodeling the house that originally belonged to their parents.
“We had already bought furniture and everything, but I think we can solve it soon,” Rivera said. “What concerns us at the moment is the cleaning of the site.”
Rivera added that all family members are safe, healthy, and temporality staying with other relatives. However, she told the STAR that any donation, whether big or small, is more than enough to help them build a new home.
“My siblings and I are [feeling] positive as many people have contacted us and asked how we are doing, and have given us a lot of support. I know that we aren’t alone,” she said. “This might be the beginning of something better, even though I still have mixed feelings because it was the house we grew up in.”
Rivera said that those interested in helping the family can contact them through the following phone numbers: Evenisse Rivera, 787-512-0180; Evenlisse Rivera, 939-290-9001; Evan Rivera, 787-718-9653.
She said she also opened a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to rebuild their childhood home. For more information, click the following link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/perdida-total-de-nuestro-hogar-a-causa-de-fuego.
According to the police report, a woman who sustained burns in the fire received medical assistance at the site and was then transported to a hospital in stable condition.
State and municipal firefighters worked to extinguish the fire, while Emergency Medical and Municipal Rescue personnel provided support during the incident. A motor vehicle that was in a vacant lot next to a residence was partially burned.
Personnel from the Ponce Citizens Aid Office arrived at the site to provide assistance.