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Richmond rallying fire relief

One week after the fire that destroyed the Residence Le Riverain in downtown Richmond, the town received a $5,000 donation to support the victims from Industries Trudo. While significant in and of itself, the donation from the Belmont Street company is just one of many contributions made by local groups or individuals in support of those who lost their homes.

Denis Proulx, General Manager of Industries Trudo ontario Drive & Gear division, and Marc-andré Martel, mayor of Richmond

“People’s generosity has been really something. It’s amazing,” said Richmond resident Heather Barrie, who volunteered her time to help coordinate community donations over the last week. “There were bags and bags and bags”

Whereas the donation from Trudo, now a property of Ontario Drive & Gear Limited (O.D.G), came in the form of money, Barrie said that the majority of what has been given has been either clothing, hygiene products, or the basics for setting up a new home like furniture.

“It’s everything they need to get started again,” the volunteer said. “People brought things in to the town hall, but within one day’s time it was a bit overwhelming because people were so generous.” The donations have now been relocated to a space on Centre Street and another storage space owned by the town and Barrie said that at this point in time the relief team doesn’t need more material goods because almost all of the people impacted by the fire have settled into new living spaces.

Marc-andré Martel, Mayor of Richmond, said that the town remains involved in the aftermath of the fire but has stepped back in light of the intervention of professionals from the local CLSC.

“The town is still involved,” Martel said. “It’s not as direct an intervention as it was on the day of the fire, but we remain involved with the file.”

The mayor said that the town is working in close collaboration with the Sûreté du Québec and the CLSC to help ensure that the needs of the victims are met.

“Many people have found new homes, but others are still looking,” Martel said. “We will continue to look after these 19 people.”

For Barrie, whose brother-in-law lost everything in the fire, the ongoing need is in the form of emotional and moral support.

“I feel very strongly about helping and doing what I can” the volunteer said. “They have nothing and they have to start right from scratch.”

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