We all remember the wave of community support felt throughout this area in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.
The same generosity was very much in action on Monday morning in Woodstock, as community members stepped in to help those impacted by the gigantic Central Street fire that hit the historic building that contains Pi Brick Oven Trattoria, the Vermont Standard and Collective-the Art of Craft.
Our hearts go out to our neighbors at Pi and the Collective, and to the tenants displaced from the back of the building. Fortunately, the tenants were able to make it to safety and are now getting assistance through the Red Cross.
Throughout the day, individuals and businesses stepped in with many offers to help those impacted by the fire.
But the first thank-you, without a doubt, goes out to the firefighters. They were on the scene from about 3:30 a.m., battling a very stubborn blaze through 90-degree weather and sweltering humidity. In total, 17 fire departments responded to one of the largest fires Woodstock has ever seen. We thank the fire departments, state fire officials, police officers, and all the investigators for their work.
As the day wore on, the hot sun took its toll, especially for the fire crews. Throughout the morning, various businesses provided coffee and food, to help the firefighters and other impacted parties make it through an extremely difficult day.
The community always plays a huge role in what we do here at the Standard, and, this week, we could never have published this newspaper without the amazing help we received from the community in the aftermath of Monday’s fire. The streak of publishing a Vermont Standard every week for 165 straight years remains intact.
We thank our friends at the Norman Williams Public Library for helping us set up shop in their building, so we could continue the work of getting the community’s newspaper out this week. Monday morning, the great folks at Soulfully Good gave us a place to regroup, fed us and made our lives easier under difficult circumstances. We’re also grateful to the Vermont Press Association for having some lunch delivered to us during the afternoon, and to Seth Warren Realty for bringing over some refreshments the following day. Throughout Monday and the entire week, we received generous offers of help from the local community and also from the newspaper community throughout Vermont – and some offers of help from just across the border in New Hampshire as well.
We thank everyone for their generosity and support of all those impacted by this terrible fire. Clearly, the impact of this incident has only just begun to take hold, but, as with the 2011 flood, even when things seem truly impossible, the power of community support can see us through the most difficult of times.
– Gareth Henderson, Vermont Standard Editor