Neighbors Raise $12K for Marlboro St. Fire Victims

A fledgling neighborhood association raised more than $12,000 for five renters who lost nearly all their possessions after a devastating house fire on Marlboro Street in the early morning hours of May 21.

The efforts by the Belmont Corner Neighborhood Association – including establishing an online fund raising site ( and running a day-long yard sale on the street on May 31 – will result in the raised donations split among the fire victims who lived on the first and third floor of the house at 58 Marlboro which is owned by Joe and Colleen Piccolo, according to BCNA’s Erin Lubien.

The building, which was declared a total loss by the Belmont Fire Department, was taken down in the first two days of the week.

In a June 4 press release, Lubien said the association – which was created last year – used, the private social network for neighborhoods, to send out urgent text messages and e-mails the morning of the fire inviting the victims into local homes for shelter.

Lubien said the in the days since the fire, neighbors have used Nextdoor to organize, coordinate, and market the neighborhood-wide yard sale with all proceeds going to the fund.

She also said there were many examples of the community coming together to support the renters, “showcasing the amazing generosity of and care for a truly unique neighborhood,” said Lubien.

• “Sophia’s Greek Pantry inspired the idea of a raffle table to be held at the yard sale, and baked large trays of Spanikopita to feed the volunteers and sell to shoppers. We are also indebted to Sophia for her introduction to, an organization who specifically helps those in need during catastrophic times. Helpis donated many collected goods and clothes for both the victims and the yard sale.”

• “While at the yard sale shopping for free, tenants from the first floor of 58 Marlboro met Kay, a neighbor around the corner. Kay introduced the couple to Tom, whose rental property in Belmont Corner emptied that morning. Tom immediately came to meet the couple, brought them to the apartment, secured the lease, delayed collection of the security deposit, and maintained the rental rate instead of raising it as he had planned.”

• “A Cambridge firefighter who fought the Marlboro St. fire collected items from his firehouse to donate to the yard sale. His wife arrived at 7 a.m. to deliver his donations and spent the entire day aiding in all aspects of the yard sale and organization of donations.”

“This incident and the actions our neighbors took to help one another is a great testament to the power of community we have built in Belmont Corner,” said Lubien.

The BCNA is moving the future funding to Belmont Savings Bank. Checks made payable to the “58 Marlboro St Belmont Fire Fund” can be mailed or brought to:

ATTN: Lillian Ayala

Belmont Savings Bank

2 Leonard Street

Belmont, MA 02478

For more information, please contact

Stepping Up: New Neighborhood Association Helping Displaced Fire Victims

Using both modern social media (on-line fundraising) and old-school tactics (a yard sale), a newly-formed community association is leading the effort to help nine of their neighbors who were left with little after a fire destroyed their Marlboro Street homes earlier this week.

“We are asking for help to aid these residents in getting back on their feet,” said Belmont Corner Neighborhood Association’s Daniel Parmer in a Friday, May 23 news release

Two days before, just after midnight on Wednesday, May 21, a blaze at 58 Marlboro St. forced the residents – the owner/occupant and two sets of tenants – to fled from the burning three-family home with little to no possessions.

“While all are safe and healthy, they are in urgent need of financial help to help build their lives back together. All of their personal vehicles and possessions were destroyed in the fire. The renters in the home are young professionals without insurance,” said Parmer.

To help the victims, the BCNA created an online funding page to raise donations that will equitably split among the fire victims. In addition, the association is hosting a marketplace-yard sale on Saturday, May 31, with all proceeds going to the fund.

  • Any and all donations are being accepted at
  • Residents who have spare housing or the means to donate vehicles or furniture, please email the BCNA at
  • The  Marlboro Street on Saturday, May 31, for a marketplace yard sale.

Established in 2013, the Belmont Corner Neighborhood Association represents residents in the corner of Belmont bordering Watertown and Cambridge. (In 1895, the area was dubbed “Harvard Lawn” after it was sold to developers by the Learned family.)

“Through the free social network created on and the kindness and concern for our neighbors, we provide support to our local neighborhood,” said Parmer.

Fundraising Site Established for Victims of the Marlboro Street Fire

A Fundly account (that is an online fundraising site) has been established for the victims of the Marlboro Street fire who were left homeless and without belongings from the blaze that took place just after midnight, Wednesday, May 21.

“Please donate to help our neighbors get back on their feet,” reads the message on the web site.

According to a message on the web page which was created by Daniel Parmer:

“The 9 (sic) residents escaped without injury, with nothing but the clothes on their back and no insurance to help recover what was lost. We are reaching out to our neighbors and the Greater Boston community to request your generous contribution to this fund. Donations will be distributed solely and equally amongst the displaced tenants to help them purchase essentials, find a new place to live, and begin to restore their lives.”

“We are the Belmont Corner Neighborhood Association and we believe it is our responsibility to help the members of our community. Please join us in supporting our neighbors.”