SUMMIT, NJ - The COVID-19 pandemic has altered everyone's sense of normalcy, disrupting many of things folks assumed would be part of their lives, day-in and day-out. It has been a trying and, for many in the Garden State and beyond, tragic time.
Now imagine that, in the midst of this unprecedented crisis, an incident occurs that renders your residence uninhabitable and claims all or much of what you own. That horrific reality is what a group of Hilltop City residents now face after a three-alarm fire tore through their two-family home at 220-221 Morris Avenue on August 20.
The fire, which saw seven neighboring town fire departments assist the City of Summit Fire Department in battling the blaze, left these local families with nothing.
Pastor David Villagran is the head of one of the families. He is the Pastor of Christo Reyna Iglesia at 77 Morris Avenue. He and his wife, Angela, have two young children, Pedro (11) is a Summit Middle Schooler and Abigail (5) attends of Brayton Elementary.
Another family, Raul Mazariegos and Glorivel Torres and their two girls, Jennifer (10) and Joanna (5) were also rendered homeless.
The Red Cross provided some basic immediate needs but, with young children, the families are in desperate need of further help.
Summit's Other Fellow First Foundation, which exists to assist Summit families in distress, is working with Mayor Nora Radest to help these two families and the others impacted by the fire. As they did when fire sverely damaged a duplex on Weaver Street in December 2019, the Other Fellow First Foundation is rallying to support the victims and is asking Summit residents to do the same and further validate Mayor Radest's view that “Summit is a little city with a huge heart.”
Brett Haire, the Foundation’s Chairman, thanked the Summit Fire Department and Chief Eric Evers for quickly alerting the Foundation and turning on its fundraising efforts on behalf of the families.