Friends of the Pearl Street Fire are helping to raise funds and awareness for the devastating fire on October 19 2021 at 3:30 am in the heart of downtown Boulder which burned 81 units in the Whittier Place Condos. Residents awoke terrified to a massive fire racing through the complex. Within minutes, all 81 units were engulfed in flames. Residents escaped into the cold night in their PJs, some having to flee 2nd or 3rd story windows to save their lives. Firefighters fought the blaze through the night, contained it to this building but despite their brave efforts, the building and most of its contents were destroyed. Thankfully, no lives were lost, but those 81 homes of our friends and neighbors were lost while we slept.
The building will be demolished, and the loss deeply felt as owners and residents have been left without homes, their equity, their treasured possessions, and their foundation for their future. Many were first time home buyers, most insurance policies will cover only a portion of the loss, some were uninsured, and all are still coping with their loss.
As our neighbors began to navigate their recovery, Boulder County was hit with another devastating fire - the Marshall Fire. Naturally, our attention was riveted to the larger disaster as the Nation watched with us as the event unfolded. Our hearts broke, and we opened and will continue to open our wallets to help. But for the families impacted by the Whittier Fire, there is no financial aid or Federal assistance and it’s complicated, but local efforts can’t easily or haven’t brought them under the same helpful umbrella of community relief efforts that our Marshall neighbors are receiving.
The victims of both fires suffered the same devastating losses and face the same hard recovery road ahead. In a year already fraught with challenges, this tragedy has created a hardship beyond words for our friends and neighbors.
So many of us in Boulder are fortunate, we are ok spared from these devastating fires and personal loss. Let us take a moment to be grateful, and share in their loss, by giving everything we can to create an umbrella for those who lost their homes to the Whittier fire. Pearl Street is the heart of our city, and we all come together here to live and enjoy all that the city and beautiful region offers to us. These are our neighbors, friends and colleagues, professionals, those who serve us, and who we serve. They invest in our city with their property taxes, purchases, recreation, and appetites and we all benefit. They are our community, and together in hard times we need each other to lean on. We can give and give generously so they won’t have to endure the full extent of their loss alone.
In a year already fraught with challenges, please consider our Whittier friends with your donations. Share their story and this link. A strong community of caring can help heal their trauma, and help them rebuild their lives. Be the love. Be Boulder.
Abundance by local artist Sarah Gentry.
All cash donations (minus platform fees) will go to a general fund for the 81 families who lost their homes and belongings to the fire on in October 2021.
I am Lynn, a long-time Whittier resident now just a couple blocks north but still a neighbor to the Whittier Place Condos who believes in the importance of community for all.