Southington community rallies behind family displaced by fire

Published on Tuesday, 11 February 2020 20:14


SOUTHINGTON -Following a fire which destroyed a local family’s home Feb. 9, the community has stepped up to assist them through donations of money, clothing and other necessary items.

Firefighters were dispatched at around 10 p.m. to the home of the Kostenko family at 960 East Johnson Ave. There, they found the two-story home engulfed in flames, which they battled until 2:40 a.m. Feb. 10.

The family was able to evacuate and no injuries were reported. Now displaced, they are staying with relatives until they can find a permanent home.

At Monday’s Town Council meeting, Town Council Chair Victoria Triano said that Southington Community Services was accepting donations for the Kostenko family.

On Tuesday, Janet Mellon, community services director, said that she has received nine bags of donations since Monday.

“Southington is the most incredible, generous community in Connecticut,” said Mellon. “If we ever need anything, all we have to do is put out a few calls or posts.”

In addition to clothing, other items requested included bath towels, personal hygiene products, Queen bed sheets and gift cards to Aldi’s, Walgreens, Walmart and Subway.

Mellon added that donations can also be made at Liberty Bank at 60 N. Main St. under the donation account for the Kostenko Family.

A Facebook donation page has also been set up by a friend of the family.

In two days, this fundraiser has collected $3,580 of its $5,000 goal; 62 people have donated as of the writing of this article.

Kaeley Kostenko, one of the daughters of the displaced family, thanked those who supported the fundraiser.

“Thank you to everyone who donated,” she wrote. “We really appreciate it so much.”

The following was written on the Facebook fundraiser page in response to the community support:

“I wanted to thank everyone who donated not just money, but clothes and shoes and other items to the family as well,” the post said. “It is appreciated so much by the family and everything donated will be used to the fullest extent. (…) Again every share and donation is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and everything that everyone has done to get the family to where they are.”

Additionally, local pub The Groggy Frogg announced via Facebook on Monday that they will be holding a fundraiser for the Kostenko family this Saturday.

“We will be donating $1 for every drink sold this Saturday to our Southington neighbor in need,” the post read. “There will also be a donation jar behind the bar for this single parent family of five who lost everything they owned.”

Nancy Brummett, who is organizing the Groggy Frogg fundraiser, said she has also been helping to share the Facebook fundraiser. She said that Southington is a great community and that she wanted to do what she could to help.

“After seeing that she was a single mom with four kids and that they have to start over we decided to help out,” she said. “They lost their home and everything they had.”

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, Southington Herald on Tuesday, 11 February 2020 20:14. Updated: Tuesday, 11 February 2020 20:16.