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Posted on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Organizer: More donations needed for residents affected by Schooner Cove apartment fire

By Kyle Feldscher


Donations for the residents affected by the fire at the Schooner Cove apartments are still being collected.

Joseph Tobianski |

Local organizers are calling on Washtenaw County residents to donate basic items to the families displaced by the fire at the Schooner Cove apartments last week.

Want to donate?

If you're looking to donate items to these families, organizers say the following is what's most in demand

  • Toiletries of all kinds
  • Small appliances (vacuums, microwaves, etc.)
  • Board games and books for children
  • Throw rugs
  • Shower curtains
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Bed linens
  • Towels
  • Electronics
  • DVDs
  • Plates
  • Glasses
  • Cups
  • Pots
  • Pans
  • Coffee makers
  • Mixers
  • Toasters
  • Anything else that can be spared

Sandy Kellerman, president of Homefront Hugs, said officials at McKinley Properties told her many of the residents at Schooner Cove apartments didn’t have renter’s insurance. Eleven families were displaced by the blaze at building 5086 that started after a grease fire in one kitchen spread to the rest of the building.

Kellerman said the families affected by the fire span all ages and anything anyone can donate would be helpful.

“It’s down to the basic stuff people might not think of and, around this time of year, people are decluttering,” she said. “If people can’t give money … maybe they will come across old pots and pans, things in good condition they don’t need any more, or just basics or books for the kids.”

The fire broke out at 1 p.m. Jan. 7 at the apartment complex off Huron River Drive near Tuttle Hill Road. Fire officials told a resident sprayed a grease fire with a fire extinguisher, causing it to spread to the rest of the kitchen. The fire spread from there and destroyed much of the second and third floors of the building.

Homefront Hugs typically collects items for troops stationed overseas but Kellerman said the organization also works with disaster relief. She decided to get involved after speaking about the fire with a McKinley official.

Many of the affected families didn’t have renter’s insurance, Kellerman said. She once lost everything in a fire as well, but had renter’s insurance and managed to get back on her feet thanks to the simple investment, Kellerman said. She encouraged every renter to make sure they get insurance.

Schooner Cove fire

Complete coverage of the fire at the Ypsilanti Township apartment complex

“Rental insurance is so cheap and when you have a fire like that, that costs thousands of dollars to replace all your things,” she said. “It’s worth the extra $15 a month.”

She added, “You do it for your car and you’re in your house way more than you’re in your car.”

All items can be brought to the Schooner Cove apartment complex leasing office, located at 5050 Schooner Cove Blvd.

McKinley Properties has been working with the residents to find them housing, either in the Schooner Cove apartments or within another McKinley property in the area.

McKinley officials said last week they were in the process of setting up a bank account for the people affected by the fire. Information on that account was not immediately available Thursday afternoon. Anyone who would like to make monetary donations to the affected residents can make a check out to “Schooner Cove Fire” and send it to Schooner Cove Fire Donations, c/o McKinley Properties, 320 N. Main St. Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48104.

In addition, Jack Middlebrook, manager the Reuse center at Recycle Ann Arbor, told Friday that Recycle Ann Arbor will be able to receive donations at their location, 2420 S. Industrial Highway, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. They will take the items to the Schooner Cove apartments as well.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.


Aralia Almendral-Todd

Sun, Jan 27, 2013 : 3:46 a.m.

I am one of the displaced families, 1st floor, got all the water. Someone asked where the Red Cross was. Well the Red Cross has been more than helpful, on site even before I was able to get back to the apartment, and even following up with us multiple times. Also I want to express both my own and my family's sincerely thankfulness to the Firefighter who located and returned the long hair cat from the first floor.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 6:43 p.m.

Recycle Ann Arbor's ReUSe Center staff will be taking items to Schooner Cove later this afternoon, if readers have items they would like the organization to take for them please bring them to the ReUse Center at 2420 S. Industrial, by 4pm today (Friday).

Kyle Feldscher

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 4:53 p.m.

Sorry for whatever was going on with the formatting on this story before - it was all wonky. That's now been fixed.

Kyle Feldscher

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 4:09 p.m.

Sorry if this wasn't clear from the story. You can bring material donations to 5050 Schooner Cove Blvd, the complex's leasing office.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 3:57 p.m.

Mckinley's address is 320 n main not 32 n main

Kyle Feldscher

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 4:11 p.m.

Sorry, that's a typo I'm fixing now.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 3:31 p.m.

are they any place closer to AA that we can drop things off at? The apt. is a bit far for some (me) I thought it was a drop off in AA on main -- I should or read it closer, thats just for checks. if anyone hears of a place closer --- please post, thanks.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 2:57 p.m.

Too bad there is not someplace on the west side of Ann Arbor to drop things off. I am sure it would allow more people to donate.

Lets Get Real

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 2:13 p.m.

Who is Homeland Hugs? Never heard of them, but their website would seem to indicate disaster relief is not consistent with their mission. Where is the Red Cross? They are chartered by Congress to provide Disaster Relief. Aren't they supposed to provide temporary housing and vouchers for necessary items. Seems the Salvation Army store the Kiwanis ReSale Store and Warehouse, the PTO Store and Purple Heart Value Village stores could provide many of the items on the list at very affordable prices with those vouchers. Seems some coordination of effort here would go along way.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 2:56 p.m.

An understanding of how the agencies work would go farther.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 2:29 p.m.

The Red Cross was at the scene during the fire and provided help with lodging, clothing, and food. In addition, they worked with the victims to help refer them to longer term recovery. That is what they are mandated be Congress to provide. They also provided blankets and toiletry items. The Red Cross provides IMMEDIATE assistance. Other agencies provide the longer term assistance.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 1:29 p.m.

The article says you can drop of donated goods for victims at 5050 Schooner Cove Blvd. Blessings to all victims and donors!! I thought I'd heard on the news last night that there was also a church collecting donations, but didn't catch which one.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 3:19 p.m.

Can anyone confirm that's the correct address. Don't want to drive there and no one knows anything. Thanks!


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 1:25 p.m.

Renter's insurance is a MUST! Too many people don't even think about it or assume the complex will cover any losses. Not true!! There is no personal-item coverage from the complex in the event of a disaster. Insurance is CHEAP as one commenter noted. Best not to skimp.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 1:14 p.m.

To anyone that doesn't have renters insurance - I'll share this. I bought it through the same company that has my car insurance policy. It cost me $11 per month, but because I used the same company for both policies, my car insurance dropped $14 per month. State Farm essentially pays me $3 per month for renters insurance. Referencing post above: Good advice Steve.

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 3:23 p.m.

Agree. Every renter should have it. Many have never heard of it, though. It sounds too good to be that cheap, but it's real because you're not insuring the building like a home-owner does, you're just insuring your own stuff, and being a renter it's likely not a whole lot of stuff. It also protects you against theft, which is becoming more and more a threat around here.

harry b

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 2:19 p.m.

I also had renters insurance when I was in an apartment. At the time it was $75 per year for 10 or 15 thousand dollars coverage. I am not sure why everyone would not get this. $6 per month?


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 12:29 p.m.

This is a great community effort, but people need to be reminded to NOT drop off stuff that they couldn't sell at least years garage sale. Too many times people drop off stuff that should be thrown away.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 12:17 p.m.

I posted this to my facebook as many on it live around Ann Arbor--- were can we bring what ever we can get up for these family's?

Jennifer Shikes Haines

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 12:09 p.m.

Where can we bring material donations?


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 3:42 p.m.

Unless there was an update the information is in the story.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 3:21 p.m.

Same question for me too. Yup, the News should have this information available for people who want to help.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 2:48 p.m.

All items can be brought to the Schooner Cove apartment complex leasing office, located at 5050 Schooner Cove Blvd.