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North Suburban News

Stoneham Family Looks To Community for Support After Fire

Jan 24, 2019 06:27PM ● By Katie Lovett

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STONEHAM – Friends and family of a Stoneham family who suffered a fire Wednesday night are asking the community for help for the household, who need everything from furniture to clothes and toys.

The fire broke out at 5:52 p.m. at 16-18 Washington Avenue, one side of a Housing Authority duplex. Firefighters were able to bring the flames under control and contain the blaze to a first-floor bedroom where the fire was started by a candle. However, the whole first floor of unit 18 suffered significant damage from heat, smoke and water and has been declared uninhabitable.

Yesterday, as the family waited to hear if they could go back inside their home to see if any of their possessions could be saved, friends and family launched a drive to collect clothing, toys and furniture for the family of 5.  A GoFundMe page has also been set up to collect monetary donations.

“We need pretty much everything,” Lisa Chuisa said yesterday.

Chuisa and her fiancé Kenneth lived in the unit with her three children: her 16 year-old daughter who attends Stoneham High and her two sons, ages 3 and 1 ½.

Her daughter started her first job recently, working at Dunkin’ Donuts on Franklin Street, Chuisa said, and spent her paychecks on decorations and furnishings for her room, which suffered the most damage.

Chuisa is seeking clothes for her boys – sizes 2T and 3T, as well as winter coats, hats and mittens. The boys use size 4 diapers and 3T pull-ups.

 “They just had a nice Christmas,” Chuisa said of her kids. Now those presents are gone." Her older son loves superheroes, PJ Masks and the Avengers. Her younger boy is a fan of the preschool show “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” and had just received a Daniel Tiger trolley toy for Christmas, which he loved, Chuisa said.

For her daughter, Chuisa said the family would appreciate any gift cards to mall stores so the teenager can pick out her own clothes and items. She wears a women’s size small, medium shirts and size 9 jeans.

The family also lost their furniture and will need a new dresser, bed, mattress and boxspring.

Chuisa said the Housing Authority may have a recently vacated unit available for the family to move into. For now, they are staying at an area hotel.

In a press statement, fire Chief Matthew Grafton said members of the department were meeting at the station when the call came in, allowing six extra firefighters to respond to the scene.

"The extra help made a huge difference in firefighters' ability to quickly and effectively put out this fire," Grafton said. "Crews were able to extend additional hose lines, immediately begin ventilating the building and search for pets. Had we not had 14 firefighters responding, this fire would have escalated to a second alarm. I would like to thank the firefighters for their additional assistance and all for their hard work.”

Anyone who wishes to donate to the family can email Lisa Chuisa at [email protected].

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