NORTH BROOKFIELD, Mass., (WWLP) - A massive fire destroyed a North Brookfield dormitory Friday night. North Brookfield’s Emergency Management Director told 22News the fire forced 38 Valley View Boarding School students from their bedrooms.
And a day later, a community is pulling together to help. “The students last night they were in shock, they weren't sure what was going on. They are much better today. They had breakfast this morning,” said the town’s EMA Director, Doug Blood, outside the town’s elementary school Saturday morning.
Dozens of nearby residents dropped off donations at the North Brookfield Elementary School on Saturday to help Valley View students.
“I saw on Facebook that there was a fire and I used to live in North Brookfield; my family and I. So I had extra stuff at home and felt the need to help,” said Stacy Collette of Ware.
Some brought money, others donated clothing. “I brought in some sweatshirts some hooded sweatshirts, a couple of jackets some t-shirts and some thermal long sleeve shirts. It's just the right thing to do, we're warm these kids should be warm too,” said Lynne Banks of North Brookfield.
Blood told 22News the building was engulfed in flames within minutes, destroying everything inside.
“The building itself went up so fast that it was all post and beam. They did lose everything, their foot lockers and everything their bunks were all destroyed,” said Blood
The 150-year-old building used to be a barn before it was a converted into a dorm. In the last year its dining space was renovated. Investigators still don't know what caused the fire but believe it could have started in the attic.
The Pioneer Valley Red Cross helped students with clothes and personal essentials. Blood told 22News students are staying in the school's academic building for the time being.