Humbled by response, help for fire victims

 

I am president of the River Trails Condominium Association, where 90 apartments were engulfed in fire last Wednesday, 68 destroyed, and 200-plus people displaced.

I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to first responders. The Prospect Heights Fire Department is a constant presence, aiding affected victims and safely obtaining salvageable belongings. The American Red Cross responded immediately, offering food and seeking shelter for the homeless.

Our management company, Habitat, brought a team to the building and set up an instant communications system with owners and renters. The River Trails staff worked tirelessly as well. They left at 2 a.m. on the night of the first, slept in the clubhouse and got up again at 5 a.m. to assist in post-fire needs.

The Prospect Heights police have been a constant valuable resource, not only in their efforts to control crowds, but offering guidance and expertise. Ten hours after the fire was struck, all the windows were boarded up and fencing erected. With a terrific insurance company, the property will be rebuilt even better, without cost to the association.

On Saturday, the Multi-Agency Resource Center provided disaster relief including social workers, housing experts and family assistance. The community was terrific. Despite all the animus in our society today, this tragedy brought out the best in people. Finally, I would like to thank the volunteers setting up the clubhouse to offer aid to the fire victims. The community dropped off bags of goods, but they organized them for efficient distribution.

I mention no names because valuable people might be inadvertently left out.

A once famous politician once said, "It takes a village." Until now, I did not quite understand the deep meaning of the quotation. I am humbled by the efforts of "our village."

Bob Levin

Prospect Heights

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