Fire Relief Fund collects more than $200,000 for Front Street victims

  • Thursday, March 13, 2014

The September 25 fire destroyed several businesses and apartments. Victims have been helped through donations to the Front Street Fire Relief Fund. Photo provided

More than $200,000 was raised and distributed to victims of the September Front Street fire by the Fire Relief Fund Distribution Committee that met for the final time this week.

At the meeting, which was held Tuesday, the group approved the distribution of $13,000. That brings the overall total to $210,000, according to Al Joseph, chairman of the committee.

The Front Street Fire Relief Fund (FSFRF) was created under the auspices of the Georgetown Business Association on September 25, the day of the fire in the 700 block of Front Street that destroyed eight historic buildings.

The Committee included representatives from the Georgetown Business Association, the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce, United Way, and the City and County of Georgetown.

The monies were distributed by a percentage system to three groups affected by the fire; displaced employees: displaced homeowners, tenants and business owners.

“Approximately 93 individuals benefited from the Fund. Meticulous records were maintained and each person that received money was documented and registered in the United Way database. The only funds that did not go directly to the three categories was one payment to the Quality Inn of Georgetown who housed fire victims immediately after the fire,” Joseph said.

The Quality Inn donated rooms for a period of time, the FSFRF paid the balance only after the last person found housing and checked out of the hotel.

“The incredible outpouring of support was overwhelming to witness. Due to the generosity of this community and beyond, employees who lost their jobs due to the fire were able to stay afloat until they found employment, displaced residents and tenants were able to find new accommodations and several business owners relocated their businesses in record time,” said Joseph. “While the fire was a devastating event for Georgetown, the community came together and there is no doubt we will come back stronger and better than ever. The FSFRF Distribution Committee is honored to have been a small part of the rebuilding of Georgetown and grateful that we could provide assistance to the victims of the fire.”

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