Manchester community lends a hand to fire victims

MANCHESTER, PA --- On Monday morning, a fire started by a charging hover board destroyed a town home in Manchester borough, displacing thirteen people.

One of those families was Jackie Brooks and her six children.

Trish Miranda, a neighbor and friend of Brooks, said she remembers getting a knock on the door that morning from Brooks' kids.

"I heard her scream and that's all it took. I went running down the street to get everybody out," said Miranda.

While everything seemingly turned to ash, Miranda said she reminds Jackie of the "most important thing."

"Everybody is safe and sound and all that stuff in there, as much as it holds memories and is material, that can be replaced. Those kids can't be replaced, her life can't be replaced," said Miranda.

It wasn’t long before those items started coming back.

"People just started reaching out. Before i even posted anything about help, they just started reaching out," said Miranda.

Since Monday, Eagle Fire Company #1 began taking donations.

On Wednesday morning, they were getting ready to send away their third tables-full of items.

"I've had 5 people stop [Wednesday morning], alone, to drop stuff off. The door's been getting knocked on constantly, our voicemail is filling up here," said QRS Capt. Wayne Bush.

The Northeastern School District Administrative Center is accepting donations, as well.

Elementary school social worker, Dr. Kathy Minnich, said Brooks was reluctant to ask for help.

"The community convinced her, I think, at this point to allow us to embrace her. Northeastern community is a great community for mobilizing and supporting its own," said Dr. Minnich.

Neighbors of Brooks are also without their homes after the fire.

Miranda said one family, a mother with a 22 month old child, was in Florida at the time of the fire and is currently staying at a family home.

Another neighbor, described as a middle-aged woman, Miranda said needs a place to stay.

While her personal items were mostly saved, Miranda said she is in need of food and supplies for her dog and two cats.

Miranda said the items most in need for Brooks and her kids are housing, a vehicle and storage.

Miranda said they are "okay" on clothing at this time

Here is a list of items both Eagle Fire Company and Northeastern School District say they are looking for:

Gift cards, money
Toys
24M Fall clothing
2T Winter clothing
PetsMart gift cards
Plastic clothes hangers
Plastic bins with draws
Hygiene supplies
Baby food/formula
Socks/shoes
Halloween Costumes (Baby Pumpkin)
Christmas toys
Clothing for boys (14-16)
Female personal care items

For questions regarding donations, call Trish Miranda at (717) 406-9492 or message her on Facebook (Trish Wilcox-Miranda).

More information on the Eagle Fire Company donations, click on the link to their Facebook page here.