Donations sought for Valley Stream fire victims


Fire damaged a Valley Stream home last Saturday afternoon, leaving a family of five without a place to live until repairs are made.

However that could take several months as, according to a close family friend, the owners did not have insurance on the home. Living in the house were Al Clark and his four adult children, Douglas, Kevin, Lauren and Jason. All of them went to Brooklyn Avenue School and South High.

The Valley Stream Fire Department was called to 60 Miriam Street at about 2:45 p.m. on March 30. First arriving firefighters found flames blowing out of second-story windows. They were able to contain the blaze to one bedroom, the hallway and the attic. There was also water damage to the first floor and basement.

No injuries were reported. According to Valley Stream Fire Chief John Beck Jr., the Clark family was outside in the backyard when the fire broke out. He said the Fire Department received several calls about the fire, and the first engine was on scene within three minutes. Firefighters stretched a hose line through the front door and up the stairs to attack the flames.

All units from Valley Stream were at the scene and mutual aid was provided by the Hewlett, Elmont, Woodmere and Malverne fire departments. Beck said 100 firefighters responded and the blaze was under control within a half-hour.

Beck said the house was uninhabitable after the fire. He said a quick attack by firefighters saved the home from further ruin. “It was a good job done by all,” he said. “It could have been a lot worse. They made a great stop.”

Since the fire, the Clarks have been staying with family and friends, according to Andrew Sether, who graduated from South in 1997 along with Kevin and Lauren. He said he has known the family since he was in elementary school. “They’re just a great family,” he said. “They’re the type of people that would give you the shirt off their backs.”

Sether has set up a website soliciting donations for the family. He said in addition to replacing possessions, most of the house has to be repaired down to the studs. The goal is to raise $50,000, and as of Tuesday afternoon, more than $6,200 had been pledged, with donations ranging from $25 to $2,500.

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