UTICA, N.Y. – A fire in Utica over the weekend cost a Somalian family everything they owned and left a four-year-old girl fighting for her life.
The Utica Fire Department responded to a fire at Adrean Terrace Friday night. A family of ten lived in the home, including eight children. Firefighters found a four-year-old inside unconscious and pulled her out. She is still being treated at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse.
By Monday, community members had heard about the fire and brought donations to the Utica Fire Department, ranging from a few heartfelt dollars to a check for $500.
"There's a lot of people in Utica that aren't wealthy. They live from day to day or week to week and they struggle to get by and they were coming in, making some small donations and one person came in and just emptied his pocket," said Utica Fire Chief Russell Brooks.
The donations will be used to help the family travel back and forth to Syracuse, assist with rehabilitation costs and provide them with their basic needs.
Fire officials say as of Wednesday morning, the young girl's condition has been upgraded, but she still has a long healing process.
Monetary donations will be accepted at the Utica Fire Department Headquarters at 552 Bleeker Street. Checks can be made payable to The City of Utica, c/o Halima Haji. Contact Dave Zogby at the Municipal Housing Authority to make donations of household items or clothing at (315) 404-2698.