When a fire struck March 26, eight officials went above and beyond their daily duties of serving the people.
Soon, other organizations and individuals were on board during a cold, early Saturday morning to put residents at ease during an unfortunate, sudden event.
At Wednesday night’s borough council work session, manager Timi Kirchner praised the response and aid of borough employees during the fire incident at the apartment complex on Jenkins Avenue.
The fire affected 18 apartments and displaced 46 residents that morning.
Kirchner expressed her exuberance of the borough’s response during the code enforcement and land planning report of the session.
“Why I want to talk about this significantly is this borough really came together to assist the folks who went through this unfortunate situation on one early, very cold morning in March,” she said.
The incident, she said, occurred as she was preparing to leave from “a long and wonderful vacation” to return to Lansdale.
“Borough officials were contacted, and we immediately opened Borough Hall as a location for those residents to come to who were affected by the fire and could wait here until the Red Cross arrived,” she said.
Borough Hall was also used as a waiting area until mobilized to assist displaced residents, as well.
“I want to recognize several staff members who came in and opened up Borough Hall, and provided coffee and assistance to folks,” Kirchner said.
Those staff members were borough records officer Sandy Cox, who was first to arrive at Borough Hall; executive assistant Stacie Maile; public works supervisor Rick DeLong; systems coordinator of electric billing Grace Trail; public works director Jake Ziegler; and Borough Council President Matt West.
“In very quick order,” Kirchner said, “Julia Menzo, who is a member of our planning commission, coordinated the response of Trinity Lutheran Services with Trinity Lutheran Church, and they were extraordinary, from all that I’ve heard, in helping these residents.”
In addition, and Tom Allebach from came together to work on the effort.
“The Stanbridge Apartment management was also stellar. They were immediately on the phone making arrangements for displaced tenants in apartments and in their own facilities or competitor’s facilities,” Kirchner said. “They kept food and drink available for all emergency responders on the scene.”
Code enforcement director John Ernst was also lauded for his help in working side by side with borough fire marshal Jay Daveler in helping to organize and coordinate information being shared with various agencies, helping to evaluate the fire and damage, and representing the borough in emergency response situations.
“We have often talked about service to our community, and although I wasn’t here to participate in it or witness it, I have to say that, as your borough manager, I am so proud of what both this borough government did, but also the agencies and citizens of his community to assist people in a really tough situation,” Kirchner said.
West echoed the commendations to borough staff, including the police department.
“When I walked in, (police officer) Chad Bruckner was here, and he helped to organize the folks and helped the transition,” West said. “Everybody, just thank you. I got the call from Stacie, thank you. Sandy Cox, Grace Trail … they had the place under control. Well done.”