April 22, 2019 | 52° F

Rutgers students are seeking donations after an off-campus fire destroyed their house

The GoFundMe page has raised $1,000 so far

Photo by Courtesy of Frank Aita |

After a fire obliterated their off-campus residence, two Rutgers students are working to raise money on GoFundMe to pay for the damages. So far, they have raised more than $1,000 in donations.

A GoFundMe has been created for two Rutgers students whose off-campus house burned down.

The fire erupted inside the Delafield Street home early on a Friday morning in October 2015. The residents were forced into the street, and fire officials said the home was uninhabitable,  according to NJ Advance Media.

Kevin McCann, the New Brunswick's deputy fire chief, said that everyone made it out safely because the smoke alarm alerted residents to the fire, but the home sustained extensive damage.

Ryan Charles Clarkin, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, is friends with the students who lived at the house and is the creator of the GoFundMe page.

He said although everyone in the house was okay, many of their possessions are beyond salvageable. At the time, his friends did not have a place to stay in New Brunswick.

“After calling 911, waking up their housemates and getting out of (the house) there wasn’t much time for them to grab anything,” Clarkin said.

He said the biggest worry was not the actual fire, but life after the incident. The fire incurred a number of costs that were difficult to handle as a student. 

“As many students can understand, the hardest part of this isn't the initial scare,” Clarkin said. “It's continuing with school and life as if nothing was wrong.”

Many of his friend’s possessions were gone and damaged in the fire.

“Without books, computers, clothes or a place to stay at school, my friends faced many obstacles besides the usual class and work that we all complain about,” he said.

He said $1000 of the $5000 goal has been raised and 39 people donated to the cause.

Jacob Fingeret is a Rutgers alumnus and graduated from the School of Arts and Sciences last year. He had friends who were affected by the fire as well.

“I mainly donated a lot of money because of the loss of value for the cars. My best friends, Brian Watson and Amol Singh, had their cars obliterated from the fire,” Fingeret said.

His friends were seniors, and he explained that even though the students had experienced such a hardship, they still had school and classes to worry about.

“They both lost all value (of the cars) and insurance covered barely any of the cars damage cost,” he said. “I donated to help cover some of their costs to get new cars because I knew how important it was for them to have cars to get to classes, especially because they were seniors and their classes were upper-level classes that they needed to have to graduate.”

Jillian Pastor

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