Community Rallies for Fire Victims

Last Tuesday’s fire on Havre Street displaced twenty-one residents, injured a firefighter and caused more than $1.2 million in damages. While no one was seriously hurt in the four-alarm blaze, the victims of last week’s fire are in desperate need of assistance.

On Saturday, owner of Maverick Market Cafe Dan Lyons held a special fundraiser for the fire victims. Saturday’s event brought local musicians from Eastie and surrounding communities together for a benefit show that started at 3 p.m. and ended at the restaurant’s close.

“We just wanted to help the displaced families of the Havre Street fire afford a new start,” said Lyons. “One hundred percent of our proceeds from this week’s Cask Ale will be donated to the families.  During the show there was also a “suggested” voluntary cover of $5 that will go directly to the families.”

Lyons, along with Chris Ulich and John Tyler kicked off Saturday’s show followed by a wide array of local music talent like Joey Blake, Rose Arruda & The Wild Edibles, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center’s Steve Snyder and the Don’t be Denied Band as well Tanya Hahnel and Dave Scanlon and Brian Gannon and Matt Cameron.

“Saturday afternoon featured many of East Boston’s musicians in a music festival style line up as well as local artist Joey Free who was live painting and donating the proceeds of his work during the event,” said Lyons.

Headlining Saturday’s fundraising event was Seamus Langan who performed a set of Irish music.

One of the fire victims, Carlos Rojas Alvarez, launched a fundraising webpage at for his family who lost everything in last week’s fire.

Alvarez, an active member of the Eastie community, hoped to raise $22,000 for his family. As of press time Tuesday the webpage had raised $21,281.

“My home of 15 years in East Boston burned,” said Alvarez. “We lost everything, but my mother, Mikey (my younger brother), uncle and I are all safe and sound. Thanks to the love and generosity of family and friends, we have a place to stay for the next few days. In the coming days, our biggest need is to lock in permanent housing in Boston–that means first, last and deposit on a three bedroom apartment–as well as to replace immediate essentials.”

Alvarez said his family is in need of beds and mattresses, dining table and chairs, kitchen essentials for cooking, groceries, clothing, and a laptop and iPad that his brother needs for school.

“Anything you can pitch in will help us immensely,” he said. “I am overwhelmed by your support and love. I know we will be alright.”

The employer of two other fire victim and their families launched a GoFundMe page at The owner of the Blue Dragon Restaurant in Boston Ming Tsai said the restaurant hopes to raise $10,000 for the families through the webpage. As of press time the page had raised $7,445.

“In the restaurant industry and in particular at Chef Ming Tsai’s Blue Dragon, all our employees are family,” said Tsai and his restaurant team in a statement. “On February 27th, 2018, two of our line cooks were notified their apartment building was on fire in a four-alarm blaze fire during mid lunch service that completely destroyed the apartment building and every belonging, piece of furniture and article of clothing they had. Not only are they dedicated incredible chefs, but they are hard-working, dependable and genuine people.”

Eastie’s elected officials, the Mayor’s Office and the American Red Cross have also pitched in to help find housing, clothing, food and other essentials for the families displaced during the fire.

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