Acorn arson: update, photos, and how you can help
(When disasters happen at the commune we all have our roles. My job is using my fast outside world internet and firm grasp of spelling and grammar to help keep people informed. Any mistakes in this post are still probably Pax’s fault though -Angie)
In times of crisis the communes shine; after deaths, after earthquakes, and now after arson. For all the disagreements we have on regular days, when the s**t hits the fan we come together. Here’s a rundown of where we are 48 hours after the blaze, how you can help, and some photographs of the damage. (If you’d like to just see the photos without any commentary, go to the Google folder here.)
Damage and repairs: While there are no structural issues there’s still been significant damage to Heartwood. The walk-in survived the blaze. The kitchen, dish room and pantry were essentially gutted by the fire, we’ve lost use of a bunch of bedrooms which need significant cleanup, and many community goods and personal items are covered in soot. Currently meals are being made and served in the farmhouse’s kitchen but it is REALLY too small to be comfortable- repairs on Heartwood are going well but more help is always needed.
How you can help (financially): Acorn isn’t looking for donations right now. The costs of repairs looks like it will be relatively small, around $5000. In the coming days Acorn will be putting together a list of things that have been destroyed that we’d love to find replacements for, so if you’re planning on donating a bunch of stuff to Goodwill tomorrow hold off for a few days. (If you can’t restrain yourself from giving physical stuff immediately Angie suggests going with the commune classics: coffee, good chocolate, juice, chips, and fruit.)
How you can help (physically): The thing which Acorn needs most now is people who are willing/able to help with cleaning and/or painting. Many people aren’t able to return to Heartwood to work/live until the smoke damage has repaired. Repairing smoke damage is a long process, involving dry brushing the damaged areas, then wet washing several times, followed by several coats of primer and paint. If you’re able to come and help please do, and bring friends. That said, remember that sleeping and eating space at Acorn is at a premium and try to work with local friends to get yourself housed and fed. If you’d like to help please contact Pax at [email protected]
How you can help (mentally and emotionally): People are exhausted physically and mentally, having someone you lived and worked with try to burn down your home has had a pretty high impact. Acorn has delayed all membership decisions by a week and is focusing on short term repairs right now. If you’re a person who sends good vibes or that kind of thing please do so, and more opportunities to provide help and support will be coming soon.
Appreciations: Oakers, ex-members, and friends of community have been incredibly generous with their time and resources. We’re especially appreciative of Philip X, who has lent Acorn his RV to help deal with the space crunch.
Here’s some photos of the damage and the recovery. They are roughly in order- photos of the damage come before photos of the repair/recovery efforts.