FAIRFIELD — Fairfield on Wednesday prepared what it called a “disaster recovery team” to help victims of the Marigold Drive fire.
The team will include the Fire, Public Works, Police and Building departments. It will reach out to the victims and do assessments, fire Battalion Chief Matt Luckenbach said.
“We’re going to give them a point of contact, so they don’t feel like we just showed up for the fire and left them,” Luckenbach said.
The grass fire started at 3:40 p.m. Tuesday and spread rapidly. By the time firefighters from all over the region put the blaze out, it had rendered five homes uninhabitable and damaged 10 others.
Fairfield’s disaster recovery team can help with everything from protecting people from scam artists posing as contractors to locating property lines now that fences are gone. It can help with utility and water service. It can make available a critical incident stress debriefing team and pastors from the Police and Fire departments, Luckenbach said.
The team was still taking shape Wednesday afternoon. Luckenbach said it will be passing out fliers and conducting neighborhood meetings. The first meeting was scheduled at 10 a.m. Thursday on the 2800 block of Marigold Drive, the Fire Department announced Wednesday night. The American Red Cross and charitable groups will be represented.
Fairfield Mayor Harry Price had just gotten off a plane Tuesday in Pennsylvania when he learned about the fire. He received a cellphone call from City Manager Sean Quinn and saw a television video of the incident.
“It’s another one of those unforeseen tragic events and, of course, we still don’t know the cause,” Price said Wednesday by phone from Pennsylvania.
He praised the fire and police departments for a quick response. It’s nothing short of a miracle that people were able to evacuate their homes safely, he said.
He’s certain police will maintain security to keep away looters, Price said. The affected neighborhood is pretty cohesive and people there look out after each other, he said.
Price wants to review the city’s water capabilities.
“From an infrastructure point of view, I’d want to be certain the pressure needed to fight the fire was there and that there were adequate sources in the fire hydrants,” he said.
City staff will review the factors leading to and resulting in the disaster, Price said.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.