“People were stopping in here and asking if they could help out,” said Katie Wallace, a thirteen (13) year server at the Blue Spoon on Munjoy Hill this afternoon. “People started bringing in donations like clothing, bedding and shoes.” These donations were for the thirty-three (33) people displaced by a three alarm fire that started at 6 Cumberland Avenue early last week. The fire spread to three nearby buildings.
David Iovino, owner of the popular restaurant at the corner of Congress and Merrill Streets informed neighbors through social media that he was hosting a three hour fund raiser for the displaced tenants at the Blue Spoon. On Sunday the normally closed restaurant was open from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. With an admission fee of $20.00, $2,749. was raised for those displaced by the nearby fire. Free beer and wine were provided to the guests. The money was distributed to families according to situation.
“She’s a real doer. She helps everyone,” said Glenna Irvine of her friend Katie Wallace. In fact it was Katie who inspired Glenna to adopt a family of seven this past Christmas. Upon the recommendation of a social worker at the East End Community School, Irvine went shopping, something she dislikes doing, for the parents and five children between the ages of 21 and 10 years of age. “All they wanted were clothes totally. That ought to tell you something. But I did buy a remote control car for the 10 year old boy,” she said smiling. “I wanted him to have a toy. It was so rewarding. I never met the family because I don’t want them to feel obligated to me. I’ll definitely do it again next year.”
Meanwhile, Domingos Nzuzi,a sophmore at Deering HIgh School, returned to his former home at 6 Cumberland Avenue, from which he, his mother and three sisters were displaced by the fire early last week. Nzuzi, a native of Angola, wanted to get into his former home to retrieve clothes, school text books and family pass ports. But the second floor apartment was padlocked shut – again. Nzuzi, who is a good student, said he’s behind in his school work because he can’t access his school text books. “I like math. That is my favorite subject,” said the tall lanky youth who plays soccer as well. “I’ll try again.”
Nzuzi said that the American Red Cross assisted his family financially. They are currently living with a family friend until a new apartment can be located. His mother works in a restaurant locally. It’s expected that 6 Cumberland Avenue will be renovated eventually, but not available for occupancy in the near future.