Good Samaritans honored for helping Fryingpan fire victims |

Good Samaritans honored for helping Fryingpan fire victims

Brian McNellis/Basalt Town Hall

BASALT – People who rallied to aid 33 victims of a fire in the Fryingpan Valley shortly before Christmas were honored for their good deeds by the Basalt Town Council on Tuesday night.

The folks at the Two Rivers Cafe were recognized for feeding victims of the fire as well as firefighters. The staff also collected toys, clothing, household goods, bedding and cash for the displaced residents, most of whom lost all their belongings.

The fire struck an 11-unit apartment complex, known as Sterkerville, on Dec. 16. The complex is about 4.5 miles up Frying Pan Road.

Ten of the 11 units were occupied. The fire gutted six of them, while the other five suffered heavy smoke and water damage. The structure was ruled a complete loss. No one was injured in the blaze.

Audrey Medina, of Two Rivers Cafe, accepted a community-service award from the town on behalf of the restaurant’s staff and owners Rick Kane and Pat Breed. The venerable bar and restaurant is always among the first businesses to provide aid when there is a midvalley disaster.

The proclamation read by Basalt Mayor Leroy Duroux said, “A tsunami of compassion, love and assistance swept through the Basalt community.”

The other people honored were Hillary Maley, who coordinated volunteers who assisted the victims; Robyn Lawry and Warrick Mobray, owners of the complex; Shawn Hunsberger, owner of Phoenix Fitness, for organizing a toy drive; Kim Wille, who organized a toy giveaway at Town Hall; the Basalt Fire Department as the primary responder; the Aspen and Snowmass Village fire departments for assisting; Pitkin County Road and Bridge; the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office; Holy Cross Energy; Bill Tarallo and Aspen Skiing Co., which provided housing for some residents in a midvalley apartment complex; Nan Sundeen; Rachel Oys; Rheta Strong and Yanna Blancy, of the American Red Cross; and Vectra Bank for establishing donation jars.

“The spirit of Basalt is truly represented by these wonderful, giving people and organizations. We salute and honor you all,” the proclamation said.

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