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Community helps families displaced by massive apartment fire in Rockville

Community helps families displaced by massive apartment fire in Rockville (ABC7)

It's been three days since a massive apartment fire in Rockville left dozens of Montgomery County families without a place to call home.

Now, county officials and local non-profits want those impacted by the fire to know that help is out there.

"You know, when you're in a fire or in a disaster like that, it takes a village to help those people who are impacted," said Monica Barberis-Young with Interfaith Works.

As director of Family Services for the Montgomery County non-profit, Barberis-Young has been working around the clock to help as many fire victims as possible.

"There was a single mom who just had moved into the apartment last Wednesday with her seven-year-old," said Barberis-Young.

She says that woman, fortunately, has family members in the area who she is now staying with, but the need didn't end there.

"She realized they didn't have any clothes, didn't have any clothes for her child and the child had lost all his books and all his toys," said Barberis-Young.

The woman came to Interfaith Works' clothing center and replaced a lot of what she lost.

Montgomery County officials tell ABC7 that property management at the Fireside Park Apartments have been able to relocate some of the fire victims to vacant units within the apartment complex that weren't damaged by smoke or flames.

County officials say they've also been working to provide replacement furniture.

Both Interfaith Works and Rockville Housing Enterprises are accepting donations of new or gently used items to assist the displaced families. Clothing, sheets, pillows, blankets, toiletries and basic household supplies are all needed.

Volunteers are also needed to sort donations.

"Thanks to the generosity of the community, we're able to serve these people in crisis," said Barberis-Young. "You need us, we're there."

Investigators have ruled out arson in Friday’s fire. They believe it started on an exterior balcony. From there, the wind-fueled flames spread quickly.

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