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The City of Fredericksburg's emergency response to the May 16th fire at Madonna House is ongoing. Now in its second day the City's teams have shifted primarily to assisting the displaced residents.
At the time of the fire emergency, approximately 60 individuals were evacuated to FRED Central Bus Station, which opened its doors as a temporary shelter during the incident. Most of the residents were able to return to their apartments later that evening or went to stay with family. There were 34 individuals from Madonna House that were displaced and relocated on May 17 to the Clarion Choice Hotel in Central Park, Fredericksburg. Since that time, the Fredericksburg Department of Social Services (DSS) has been on site at the Clarion and have been working with many religious and community partner organizations to find alternative housing plans. Those organizations include, but are not limited to, the Continuum of Care, Micah Ministries, Healthy Generations and the American Red Cross.
Thanks to the incredible businesses and citizens who have already generously donated food and shelter these past 24 hours, our teams have been able to meet the residents' immediate needs. Area businesses that have supported this effort are numerous; notably including Best Western Fredericksburg, Wegman's, Chic-Fil-A, Wawa, and Juan More Taco.
The current status of displaced residents is: 23 individuals will be re-housed with family, 1 was hospitalized (non-fire related), 24 residents re-housed or appropriately sheltered, and 10 will continue their work with the DSS and Continuum of Care team to find permanent living arrangements.
Many of the displaced residents have lost all of their belongings. Members of our community who wish to help may do so by donating gift cards in any amount. Gift cards may be delivered during business hours to Fredericksburg Department of Social Services, 608 Jackson St., Ste. 100, Fredericksburg, VA 22401. Please note that at this time our DSS cannot accept cash or donated goods. For more information about donating, please call 540-372-1032.
The Fredericksburg Fire Department and inspectors from the Department of Community Planning & Building continue to provide support at the incident scene, with plans to provide inspections and aid in re-opening some of the damaged apartments as quickly as possible. The City thanks the management of the Madonna House for their work in recovery and rebuilding as well.
Many thanks go out to all of the first responders who provided mutual aid during the incident. Those organizations include, but are not limited to, Fredericksburg Police Department, Stafford County Fire and Rescue, Spotsylvania County Fire and Rescue, Fredericksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad, Stafford County Community Response Team, Fred Transit, Fredericksburg City Schools, and Spotsylvania Animal Control.
The City is very grateful for the support of all the community as we continue to assist the residents of the damaged building through the recovery process.