One man was killed and dozens of other tenants of seven-story Parkview Towers in Munhall were forced from homes by a fire nine days before Christmas. Admirably, the community is rallying in support of the tenants, many of them elderly and disabled.
As they pack up personal items so the building can be repaired, tenants who need extra help can call on volunteers from local Methodist congregations. Parkview Towers is owned by the United Methodist Church Union, which has set up a fund to help tenants who lack renters’ insurance and need help replacing fire-damaged items.
On the day of the fire, Messiah Lutheran Church opened its doors as a refuge from the early-morning cold. Displaced tenants gave lists of medications to firefighters, who entered the apartments and retrieved the needed medicines. Donations covered some tenants’ stays at a local hotel. St. Therese of Lisieux in Munhall provided meals on Christmas Day.
The cause of the fire, which forced the evacuation of nearly 75 residents, has not been determined. The person who died, Richard Miller, 61, a former paramedic and volunteer Munhall firefighter, succumbed while trying to rescue neighbors. While it will be two to four weeks before tenants can return to their homes, an outpouring of generosity has helped to cushion the blow. It’s a fitting follow-up to Mr. Miller’s sacrifice.