Fund set up to help Portsmouth family displaced by fire

The Sprague Street home as it appeared late Thursday morning. The Sprague Street home as it appeared late Thursday morning.

PORTSMOUTH — Just hours after a devastating fire drove four members of the Raposa family from their Sprague Street home, a fund was set up to assist them through the ordeal.

The Raposa Family Fire Fund has been established to help Jake and Allie Raposa and their two children, who safely fled the fire that broke out at their home sometime around 3 a.m. Thursday.

“This fund is to help them with expenses while they find a new place to live. Assessing the damage to is still to come,” reads a statement on the fund’s website.

Justine Santos, whose father lives next door to the Raposas, set up the fund just a couple hours after firefighters had left the scene.

Ms. Santos works for a nonprofit and has experience with fund-raisers, but even she was surprised by how quickly donations poured in.

“I set that up at 9 o’clock and we had hit about a thousand dollars by noon,” she said. “Wait until people get home from work.”

By 2:20 p.m. Thursday, more than $3,600 had been raised. The biggest donor was East Coast Construction, which contributed $2,500, according to the website.

According to the website, the goal is to reach $7,000 within the next 31 days, but Ms. Santos said that figure can be changed.

Allie and Jake Raposa

Allie and Jake Raposa

“The website suggests that you start small,” she said.

Ms. Santos said she believes the fire started on the porch and worked its way up the stairs of the home.

“The roof is pretty much gone,” said Ms. Santos, adding that a car “got destroyed” too. “They literally walked out of there with just a bag.”

To make a donation to the fund, click here.

In addition to the monetary donations, Lisa Kimball Souza is collecting clothes and supplies for the family.

Anyone who would like to make donations can drop items off at Kid Adventures, 14 Potomac Road, Portsmouth, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday to Friday; or at R.I. Nutrition, aka The Daily Shake, 883 West Main Road, Middletown (across from Staples), from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

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