It was far from just another New Year’s Eve for members of the Emmaus Fire Department last night.
That’s because it was far from just another New Year’s Eve for two Emmaus families who lost everything Sunday night when a raging fire that began on the rear porch of 502 E. Main St. destroyed their duplex in the borough.
The firefighters met Monday after dinner to begin talking about how they can help the families, who according to scanner reports Sunday night include an older couple, and a man, woman and juvenile.
Capt. Matt Hahn of the Emmaus Fire Department contacted Emmaus Patch after the New Year’s Eve meeting to share initial details of the fire department’s planned relief efforts.
According to Hahn, the department intends to open two bank accounts – one for each family – into which members of the community can deposit monetary donations. Since today is Jan. 1 and all banking institutions are closed, Hahn said that details on those accounts won’t be available until later in the week.
At this point, Hahn said the firefighters are particularly focusing their efforts on helping an 11-year-old girl injured in the fire while trying to save her dog. The dog – a Great Dane - was killed in the blaze and the girl is still hospitalized, Hahn said.
Another firefighter told Emmaus Patch on Monday night that the girl is breathing with the help of a ventilator but is expected to recover.
“They lost everything,” Hahn said. “It was just Christmas and she lost all of her presents.” The department is working to find out the exact details about what Christmas presents were destroyed in the fire in the hopes of replacing the specific presents she received this year, he added.
The fire department will also collect donations of toys, clothing and other household items for both families at the fire station from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 5.
The firefighters are in the process of contacting both families to find out where they are staying and for how long to determine whether donations of larger appliances and furniture will be useful right now or at a later time.