It wasn’t exactly the 75th birthday celebration Jean Jamar had planned for her father.
Instead of gifts, cake and quality time with loved ones, Winton Cooper was one of nine residents displaced by a fire that tore through his assisted living facility Sunday afternoon in Loganville.
No one was injured in the blaze, but the long-term care facility was destroyed and those who lived there lost everything, Jamar said.
The Stockbridge woman said she didn’t even realize her father’s residence burned down until she came across an article about it on Facebook.
“I clicked on it and it was his home,” she said Wednesday.
Firefighters determined the blaze originated on a patio behind the facility, though it’s unclear exactly what caused it. The personal care home was still burning when crews arrived at the scene and it took about two dozen firefighters nearly 40 minutes to put out the flames, Channel 2 Action News reported.
Cooper, a father of six who had lived at the facility the past four years, has since been relocated to another home in Monroe, his daughter said. But all of his belongings were destroyed, including his clothes, cosmetics and some of his medical equipment.
“He’s doing fine,” Jamar said, “a little shaken and in need of a bath, but he’s in good spirits.”
To help raise money for some replacement items, Jamar decided to create a Facebook fundraiser for her dad. She set the fundraising goal at $200. Within several hours, the donations poured in, including some from people Jamar hadn’t spoken to in years.
“By the next morning, I had already met my goal plus some,” she said. “People were just so generous, and a lot of them didn’t even know my dad.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, the page has raised more than $400.
Jamar said she plans to use the extra cash to purchase things for some of the other residents displaced by the fire, many of whom don’t have family members around to help.
“If you think about it, they don’t even have the basics,” she said, “... a toothbrush, a hairbrush, socks. They’ll also need new wheelchairs, walkers and those sorts of things.”
Unfortunately, the fire destroyed some items than cannot be replaced.
For Winton, that included a photo of his youngest daughter, who died more than a decade ago.
“He kept that in his room, a little 8-by-10,” Jamar said. “I’ll have to try to find a print somehow and maybe we can get it redone for him.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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