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Delegation looks for aid after Brooks House fire

Source: Brattleboro Reformer, April 22, 2011, by Chris Garofolo

[From right, Heidi Doyle, Jenny Hicks, behind Hicks, and Desiree Shrift help Eshraq Alkhabbaz, of Saudi Arabia, move her personal goods out of the Brooks House on Thursday. Alkhab­baz and her friends are students at SIT Graduate Institute. (Bob Audette/Reformer)]

“BRATTLEBORO — Vermont’s congressional delegation is exploring all options to potentially bring federal funding into Brattleboro after a five-alarm fire Sunday evening destroyed the top two floors of the historic Brooks House building. U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., toured the site Thursday morning to observe the destruction first-hand. The blaze ignited shortly after 8:45 p.m. on Sunday, April 17 and spread across the top of the building, leading to the evacuation of 59 apartments and several street-level businesses. “The devastation is unreal, when you go through and walk through the building, your heart breaks. You see all these apartments where people’s belongings are destroyed, photographs are bent and curled, their memories in jeopardy,” Welch told the Reformer shortly after visiting the downtown building. Along with help from Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernard Sanders, Welch said the congressional trio will coordinate efforts with Gov. Peter Shumlin and Brattleboro officials to actively explore potential alternatives from Capitol Hill. “I think realistically what we’re looking at are existing federal programs in trying to investigate where Brattleboro, which suffered this downtown loss, may be eligible for some help,” he said. “It may be housing assistance for some of the folks who have been displaced. It might be small business administration or rural economic development, but I think the realistic approach that we see right now is to investigate existing programs and what may be triggered as a result of this event,” Welch added…” Full Story: Delegation looks for aid after Brooks House fire PDF of Story: Delegation looks for aid after Brooks House fire

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