As fires ravaged a three-home stretch of Jessie Lee Lane during the wee hours of January 16, many in St. Jacobs’ Martin Grove Village slept soundly in their beds, unaware of the turmoil just down the street.
But when they awoke, alerted to the destruction by a flurry of phone calls – plenty from worried family – or even by the morning news, they knew they had to do something to help their neighbours.
“Right off the bat, we started hearing from people who were wondering what they could do to help,” Dora Robertson, a member of the Martin Grove resident’s association said. “We all felt that we really needed to do something; these people have basically lost everything. It’s heart-wrenching.”
The association, flooded with calls from within the community and throughout the region, decided to host an open house fundraiser February 3 at the Waterloo North Mennonite Church from 6-8 p.m.
Donations will be accepted to support the residents of 103 and 105 Jessie Lee Ln. whose homes were destroyed by the blaze. Light refreshments will be served and the resident’s association is hoping a musical performance will be an offer as well.
Currently, the residents affected by the fire are either staying with relatives or at a hotel provided by their insurance company.
While one of the residents, a 72-year-old woman, was treated for smoke inhalation the night of the fire, no one was seriously injured.
“It was a miracle,” Robertson said. “The fact that a man happened to be driving by, saw the flames and called 911, and took it upon himself to knock on doors and get the people out of the cold and into his vehicle, that is truly remarkable.”
Waterloo North Mennonite Church is located at 100 Benjamin Rd. in Waterloo. Cheques can be made payable to the Martin Grove Village Residents Association. Donations can also be dropped off at the Libro Credit Union, 53 Northfield Dr. E., Waterloo.