Patients lose more than belongings in addiction treatment facility fire

WEST MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- A devastating fire at the Colonial House treatment facility left many of the people getting help for addiction needing some extra support.

More than 40 men lost many of their personal belongings in the fire, however, it fire brought a community together to pitch in and help.

Losing everything you own in a fire can be devastating for anyone, but the loss of stability for addicts in recovery also can be detrimental to their progress.

The day after a fire ripped through the Colonial House addiction treatment center, it doesn't appear as though much has changed on the outside, but on the inside, officials said there's about a million dollars worth of damage.

Colonial House director of operations Chrissi Morrison said "it's been completely devastating for our organization, and we're just trying to go minute by minute at the moment."

Forty-three residents were displaced, and what Morrisson said those men need now, are just the basic necessities.

"Underwear, socks, clothing for men of all size, shoes, winter jackets, i mean literally, the guys left with the clothing they had on their backs," Morrisson said.

Some Colonial House patients often continue treatment at Safe Haven in York City.

Safe Haven addiction counselor Christian Murray recognizes the fire may not be the only disruption to a rehab patient's life.

"Stability is one of the most important parts of the recovery process. A lot of times the people are coming into recovery with much chaos, and lots of struggles of their lifestyle before they came into treatment," Murray said.

Word of the fire spread throughout the recovery community as Safe Haven has offered donations to the residents of Colonial House to help.

"Some of the donations have been provided from the families of the residents here, and some of them are from the residents themselves," Murray said.

Safe Haven resident Sean D'Arrigo said "because I know if I were in a similar situation, the recovery community would definitely be willing and ready to lend their hand out in any way they can. So, if there's anything that I can do personally, I would definitely do it. Same thing with the guys I live with here."

D'Arrigo can relate to what the men of Colonial House are going through, but the loss of personal belongings may not be the worst that residents have to deal with.

"The toughest part is what we battle, you know, those demons with our addiction," D'Arrigo said.

"I know they're going to get through this, and just stick together, and people will be helping you guys out," D'Arrigo added.

Morrisson believes the building may have to be gutted. Meanwhile, many of Colonial House's clients are being housed temporarily at another facility.

Anyone who would like to help donate clothing or other items may click here more information.