By Dillon Thomas
WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – Residents in more than 60 units of the Westbury Apartment Complex remain displaced, one week after a fire charred much of their complex.
Some residents were also notified of asbestos fibers located at the fire’s location, likely preventing them from ever retrieving some of their belongings.
“Our apartment is completely gone,” said Dannielle Fasen, a resident who was home when the fire took place. “Everything is gone for us.”
Fasen said most of her families belongings were completely lost in the fire. However, her concerns over asbestos remain for her family, and those who live nearby.
“They are not allowing anybody in because the asbestos is toxic,” Fasen said. “Now, I am like, ‘Do I even want to drive by? Because, who knows how far the toxins are carrying in the air.’”
Instead of staying near the fire’s location, Fasen took some of her family members to the local community distribution center, which was set up by volunteers.
Those with the Adventist Community Services Disaster Response Team operate the venue, which brings in donations from the community, and gives them to those displaced.
“(The amount of donations) have been awesome. People are really being very helpful; they want to know ‘what can we do?’” said Larry Brandt, a volunteer.
Brandt recalled a conversation he had with a firefighter.
“He said, ‘Why do we have to have a disaster in order for people to pull together?’” Brandt said.
The distribution center has collected and is giving away many items including food, furniture, cosmetics, toiletries, clothes, sleeping bags and toys.
“Seeing everybody step in, like it is a small town community, is overwhelming,” Fasen said. “I am gracious.”
Brandt said the distribution center would like to receive a list of residents impacted by the fire.
Until such a list is provided, volunteers have been taking people at their word, that they need the supplies as a result of the fire or asbestos.
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.