Showing support and rallying around community members in Bayfield
The people of Bayfield are taking it a little easier on the Easter evening as a structure fire rocked the town on Saturday, April 16th, displacing people in the community.
The destroyed apartment building sat at the corner of S. Broad St. and Manypenny Ave and was one of the oldest buildings in town. Memories came to the minds of people as they reflected on the tragic incident. "I remember walking by here as a kid. My older brother lived up there. Then when I became of age, I lived up there for about four years old for two and a half years, said Bayfield resident David Duffy.
A ferocious fire like this one causes the city immense pain. Resident Esme Martinson shared how the town has had a few tragic accidents but can not recall a fire this big and impactful. "I think this fire, even for people who didn’t live here, lives in the building, or own the property; was just traumatic to watch. It was really big and really fast to watch. It was windy, and the whole town was covered in smoke. It is a tiny town! It is a really big impact."
Esme Martinson and her fiancé Josh Pearson bought the building next door to the apartment building. Martinson, a real estate agent, was going to use the commercial space for a brokerage she started about a month ago. The fire spread to their building, 39 S. Broad St., causing some structural damage and displaying a tenant that lived on the second floor of their building.
Having help from neighboring stations provided much assistance in battling the fire. "Fortunately for us, the fire department does have a new system within the last couple of months where the neighboring communities also respond, says Martinson. Instead of Bayfield responding and calling for help which may have been too late at that point.”
Lodging and rental properties in town are now offering temporary housing. Encore, a store in town is giving free clothes to those displaced. "I thought right away, these folks just lost everything, and they can come in and take what they need to get through the day, said the Executive Director at CORE Community Resources, Mary Dougherty.
The town of Bayfield is a close-knit community. They will rally around and support the families and people that were displaced.