City officials: Fall River fire victims no longer need clothing donations


FALL RIVER, R.I. (WPRI) — The hallways of Re-Creation in Fall River are lined with dozens of bags and boxes, all containing clothing and toiletries for the 80 residents who were displaced when fire destroyed their apartment building.

The Fall River Firefighter’s Wives Association said they no longer need clothing donations since the fire victims are “at capacity” due to the overwhelming support.

“It has been nonstop,” Re-Creation Executive Director Grace Gerling said. “We have had truckloads of bags of clothing and other items dropped off all day long.”

The 36-unit apartment building at Four Winds Apartments burst into flames New Year’s Day when a car crashed into the boiler room and ruptured a natural gas line.

The driver, Judith Mauretti, 72, died as a result of the crash while her passenger, Linda Leahey, 75, died the following day at the hospital. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

The Firefighter’s Wives Association said it is now only accepting gift cards and monetary donations at the Fall River fire station headquarters and only toiletries at Re-Creation.

Anyone who would like to donate pet food can do so at the PetSmart locations in Fall River and Swansea or at Forever Paws Animal Shelter at 300 Lynwood Street in Fall River.

The city is also holding two multi-agency resource fairs at Government Center to help victims find new housing, receive new copies of important government-issued documents and receive help with emergency funding. The resource fairs will be held Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. and Tuesday from 1-7 p.m.

Anyone who needs a ride to the resource fair can contact the office of Mayor Jasiel Correia at (508) 324-2600 or by emailing

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