Loaves and Fishes, school collecting donations for family displaced by Northfield fire

  • The Northfield ladder truck pours water on a house fire at 386 Mount Hermon Station Road in Northfield on Friday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Homeowner Raymond McIsaac, with his dog, Yeager, safe in his truck, talks with Northfield Police Chief Jon Hall and Fire Chief Floyd “Skip” Dunnell III about getting in touch with the American Red Cross, making sure he has a place to stay. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Thick smoke obscures the sun at a house fire at 386 Mount Hermon Station Road in Northfield on Friday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • A firefighter is engulfed in smoke as the Northfield ladder truck pours water on a house fire at 386 Mount Hermon Station Road in Northfield on Friday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • As flames burned through the roof and a limited water supply, crews could not keep the fire from consuming the house at 386 Mount Hermon Station Road in Northfield on Friday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • A pile of rubble fills the foundation at 386 Mount Hermon Station Road in Northfield, scene of a house fire last Friday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 1/26/2022 4:32:11 PM
Modified: 1/26/2022 4:30:54 PM

NORTHFIELD — The charity organization Loaves and Fishes and Northfield Elementary School have started fundraisers to provide assistance with food, gas cards and essential home goods for the McIsaac family, whose two-story house at 386 Mount Hermon Station Road was deemed a “total loss” following a fire Friday afternoon.

Loaves and Fishes Coordinator Cathy Hawkins-Harrison said her organization acted quickly to publicize the fundraiser on the social media site Nextdoor upon hearing the unfortunate news.

“When we got word that the McIsaacs’ house burned, it didn’t take much to get that little bit of information out there,” she said.

Meanwhile, after staff members at Northfield Elementary learned that one of their own, Educational Assistant Wanda McIsaac, had lost her home, they collected donations on Friday and Monday to provide her and her husband with some immediate relief. They are currently accepting donations from the community, which can be dropped off at the school at 104 Main St.

“To lose one’s home is devastating and our thoughts are with Wanda and her husband, Raymond,” Northfield Elementary Principal Megan Desmarais wrote in an email.

Homeowner Raymond McIsaac said he called 911 after his smoke detectors activated and he discovered smoke in the basement and saw fire. McIsaac and his dog, Yeager, escaped unharmed. His wife, Wanda McIsaac, the only other resident, was at work when the fire broke out. Raymond McIsaac said they have a temporary place to stay, having relatives in Hinsdale, New Hampshire and South Hadley.

Hawkins-Harrison added that in addition to being a community member, Wanda McIsaac’s role as an educational assistant at Northfield Elementary has fostered bonds with residents of Northfield. She herself recalled connecting with McIsaac a number of years ago.

“Wanda is a longtime member of our district,” Desmarais wrote. “As a close-knit community, we come together to support one another in times of need.”

Those interested in making a monetary donation through Loaves and Fishes can send checks to: Loaves and Fishes c/o Cathy Hawkins-Harrison, 65 Ashuelot Road, Northfield, MA 01360. Donations of goods are not being accepted at this time, Hawkins-Harrison said.

Those interested in making a donation through Northfield Elementary can drop them at the school, 104 Main St., Northfield, MA 01360.

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or jmendoza@recorder.com.


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