Willoughby community continues to rally around families displaced by massive fire

Posted at 9:36 PM, Feb 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-20 22:15:19-05

NORFOLK, Va. - It has been one week since a massive fire destroyed eight buildings and displaced at least 30 people along West Ocean View Avenue, in the Willoughby Spit area.

While the community has lost so much, they say what they have managed to gain as a result, is much more powerful.

"It's just amazing how everyone came together, nothing really had to be said they just knew they had to come to action," says Judy Boone, owner of Judy Boone Realty.

The day after the fire, Boone showed up at the Thirsty Camel to collect donations and raised more than 700 dollars in just 20 minutes.

She says it only made sense to bring the community back to the Camel on Saturday night for a benefit.

"We can celebrate that there were no loss of lives, just loss of property, and lots of it," says Boone.

From 7 to 11 PM, the Thirsty Camel is donating 10 percent of their St. Patrick's Day t-shirt proceeds to fire victims, which Boone now prefers to call "fire survivors."

The t-shirts were pre-designed, but ironically have many of the first responders that assisted in the fire pictured on the back.


"We are very, very appreciative of what the first responders did," says Donald Musacchio, President of the Willoughby Civic League.

The benefit comes after the creation of a GoFundMe page with more than $2,200 fundraised, and an entire thrift store of clothing and essentials in an empty office next to Judy Boone Realty in Willoughby Spit in just one week.

Musacchio says that is just part of what they think they will see from the amount of people giving.

"From a dollar to hundreds of dollars everyone wants to help out as best they can," he says. "Again, it's going to be a long road, but we're going to be there for the long haul."

If you would like to help the people displaced in this fire, contact Judy Boone Realty at 757-587-2800.