One day after a fire destroyed the Portuguese Club banquet hall in Newington, the tight knit community said they’re standing strong.
Outside the building and underneath the sign out front rests a Christmas wreath with a small silver sign that reads “strong.” Members told Eyewitness News that it is reminders of strength and faith that will pull them through this tough time.
Eyewitness News received images taken by firefighters of inside the basement where investigators believe the fire originated. The images reveal charred electrical wires and a blackened room.
“A lot of people are very distraught and in pain by what they saw, you know it’s one thing to see images from afar like smoke and flames, but it’s another thing when you’re seeing the place fired out but water damage everywhere,” expressed Jeffrey Portal, Director of Operations.
“Looking at the walls, all the memorabilia burned.”
Board members told Eyewitness News that Portuguese Clubs in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and California have reached out in support.
The Club received a phone call from the Portuguese consulate based in New York after hearing about the damage.
The Club said members have been stopping by the building on Mountain Rd to show their support. Neighboring businesses like Friendly’s Restaurant have offered to hold fundraisers. Or Lady of Fatima Church said the Club can use their facility, if needed.
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