JACKSON – A fire at a home on Laurelton Avenue in Jackson left a family of four people without its residence days before Thanksgiving.
On Nov. 22 at 6:30 p.m., police officers and firefighters responded to a fire at a residence on Laurelton Avenue, which is off Manhattan Street. One minor injury to an individual was reported. The home was damaged by fire and smoke.
An initial investigation by police indicated the fire was not suspicious in nature and that it appeared to have originated from a hot tub located just outside the house, according to the Jackson Police Department. The investigation remained ongoing as of Nov. 26.
Community members were quick to act on behalf of the family, as residents began posting messages about the fire on social media. Donations of gift cards and money were being collected for the family members who lost their home and their pets in the incident.
Jackie Capasso runs the Jackson Liberty High School Parent-Teacher-Student Network and in an interview with the Tri-Town News on Nov. 23 she said, “I did not want to do a GoFundMe (fundraiser) because I wanted (the family) to get the items today.
“The family is fine, but they lost everything, including their pets. The kids are devasted; there are two girls, a seventh-grader (at the Christa McAuliffe Middle School) and an 11th-grader (at Jackson Liberty High School),” she said.
Capasso said she reached out to Jackson Liberty High School Principal Geoffrey Brignola.
“Mr. Brignola contacted his staff members, who started a collection. Then I contacted McAuliffe School parents and staff members and they started two more collections. The Girl Scouts who are in a troop (with one daughter) also started (an effort to assist the family),” Capasso said.
Capasso is asking individuals who want to help the family not to collect clothes yet because the family does not have a permanent residence at this time.
“Right now everyone is collecting gift cards or monetary gifts. I personally collected over $1,000 so far. … (They will be able) to get whatever they need,” she said.
As of Thanksgiving, Capasso had helped to raise $5,350 and a separate GoFundMe fundraiser in the community had helped to raise $7,000.
Jackson Liberty High School will hold a fundraiser during the first week of December courtesy of the staff members and the students in the Class of 2023.
“We had a bakery (operator) contact me to donate baked goods for it, too,” Capasso said.