Fast-acting principal Dan Carr of Glenwood Elementary School will use his school as a donation center for money and items for a Greenfield family whose belongings and home were destroyed by a fire at 3859 S. 38th St. Friday.
Steve and Erica D’Amato and their two children were not home when the fire started, but the family’s two dogs died in the fire that, “virtually left their family homeless,” Carr said in an email.
“Their insurance company has been working with them to cover things but that takes time. So, I would like to use Glenwood as a center to receive items or money that would help this family get back on its feet.”
According to Carr, the family has three immediate needs:
- boys clothing sized 18-24 months and girls size small
- money or gift cards
“I know we are all going through tough and challenging times, but this situation puts things in perspective for me,” Carr wrote. “Any contribution would be wonderful help for this family when they need help the most.”
The cause of the fire had not yet been determined Saturday, but Greenfield Fire Department Battalion Chief Jeff Hohensee said it appeared the fire started in the basement. From there it went through the basement floor and destroyed just about everything on the first floor.
“There was structural damage to a wall on the north side of the building and smoke damage to the entire house,” Hohensee said. “When you see the house from the outside, it doesn’t look like much happened to it. But the whole house would have to be replaced in my mind, and they lost most of their contents.”
Five fire departments responded to the fire, which was under control in about 20 minutes after Greenfield firefighters arrived.
“They got in and found the fire on the first floor and extinguished it and contained it pretty quickly, but there was a fire in the basement that they didn’t know about,” Hohensee said.
According to Hohensee, Steve was at work and the two children were at school. Erica was gone running errands for about an hour and half and returned to smoke coming out of the eaves of the house.
“It was lucky for them the kids were at school and this didn’t happen in the evening hours,” Hohensee said.
The Red Cross, neighbors and family members were on hand to help the D’Amatos right away, according to Hohensee.
One Greenfield firefighter suffered a minor back injury.