Sifting for valuables and memories in a fire’s ruins

By Douglas E. Hall
It’s been more than two months since the devastating fire at the Avalon apartments turned the lives of 1,000 residents upside down. Many lost everything except the clothes on their backs. The people and businesses of Edgewater and the surrounding area opened their hearts and pocketbooks donating cash, credit cards and all the basic human needs of food and clothes and personal care items.

But all this generousity could not replace important documents, photographs, jewelry, valuable and sentimental possessions that these unfortunate people lost.

In a time consuming effort, Avalon has put the demolition and removal of the wreckage that was once the homes of the fire victims through the slow process of sifting through the debris. Creating a flat surface over what was once a swimming pool within the apartment complex, workers have been examining and raking through the remains of the fire, searching for possessions. Early on they found a strong box and a satchel holding passports. No longer hampered by freezing temperatures, the search goes on. The pile of ruble show in the photo above is but a small part of what is yet to be searched. The photo was taken on Saturday, April 4. The search continues.

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