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Christmas Fire Victims Receive Community's Support

Ruby Stanfield helps family recover by asking for donations via email database.

The Schweighardt family continues to receive support and assistance from local families and neighbors after their house was severely damaged by a fire Christmas night.

The family has received donations from people throughout the township, according to an article on NorthJersey.com.

"We're completely overwhelmed. We just can't ... there are no words to express how we feel," Carol Schweighardt told the website.

The fire gutted the Beechwood Drive home. Police said fire appeared to have started on the back deck where a plastic bucket of hot ashes seemed to catch on fire and ignite the blaze. Homeowners Chris and Carol Schweighardt were not at home when the fire occurred.

The family could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Ruby Stanfield, a travel agent in town, immediately sprang into action when she heard of the fire. She sent an e-mail out to thousands of people who subscribe to her electronic newsletters and asked for donations. (Stanfield also posts e-mails she sends out on a blog on Wayne Patch.)

It is not the first time this year residents have rallied to help a family in need. Several fundraisers have been held to help support Police Officer Bob Franco.

Franco suffered a severe spinal cord injury when a tree fell on the vehicle he was in while on patrol during Superstorm Sandy. He has since made a steady recovery and is walking again.

Mayor Chris Vergano highlighted the very giving nature of Wayne residents during his State of the Township speech Wednesday night.

“When the going gets tough and our neighbors are in need our residents respond in an unbelievable way, Vergano said. “This is what makes our town very special.”

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Michelle January 03, 2013 at 03:08 PM
Say what you want about Wayne but I for one am proud to live in such a wonderful community. Neighbors helping neighbors. Thank you Ruby. You are an inspiration to us all!
Ruby Stanfield January 03, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Thank you Michelle. I agree we are blessed to be in such a wonderful community.
Ruby Stanfield January 03, 2013 at 04:03 PM
If anyone would like to be added to the Wayne People Email List, please email me at Ruby@RubysTravel.com and ask to be added. Your email will be private and will never be shared. Thank you!

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