SWANSEA, Mass. (WPRI) — When Dermody Cleaners employee Kelly Ingalls received a phone call regarding a prom dress that had been destroyed in a house fire last week, she knew she had to work quickly.
“‘It was in a fire and she needs to wear it Wednesday. Is there anything you can do?'” Ingalls recalled a friend of the high school senior’s family asking her last week. “I just said, ‘Have her bring it here as soon as possible.'”
Ingalls said as soon as the dress was brought in, she immediately got to work cleaning and restoring it. She spent her Memorial Day weekend at the dry cleaners to ensure that the dress was prom ready.
Dermody Cleaners owner Terry Dermody said his business specializes in fire restoration.
“We were fortunate that the dress itself was all sequins, so it wasn’t damaged in that respect,” he said. “It was just the fire and smoke smell that we really needed to remediate.”
Dermody said it was important to him and his employees that the teenager not miss one of the most memorable nights of her high school years.
“It must be hard having a fire at your home when it’s supposed to be a happy time,” he said. “So, if we can put a positive spin on this, that’s gratifying.”
Dermody said the dry-cleaning service is also helping the family restore other clothes that were damaged in the fire.
The cause of the fire, which significantly damaged the family’s Houlton Street home last Friday, remains under investigation.
The family’s pastor set up a GoFundMe page to help them during their time of need. So far, it has raised more than $12,000.