As 10 people found themselves homeless after a fire at 80 Prospect Ave in Hartford Wednesday evening, deputy police chief Brian J. Foley took to Twitter to help rescue their holiday.
"HELP PLEASE. Bad Fire. 10 residents without a home tonight and on TnxGiving!! Can any restaurant in Hartford Region feed them? Please:)" he wrote.
Within minutes, Jamie McDonald from Bear's Smokehouse replied, offering Thanksgiving dinner in the loft area of his Hartford location to the 10 displaced people. Though the barbecue eatery isn't officially open today, McDonald was still manning the smokers for pre-orders of turkeys, and was happy to welcome the guests, he said.
"I just happened to see Lt. Foley's tweets," he said. "I just figured, what goes around, comes around...it's part of what I like about having a restaurant, being able to help people. ...Barbecue in general is a comfort food, it's a happy food."
Get Baked of Windsor also chipped in, bringing pies, bread, rolls, cookies, water and other supplies to share with the residents. "A fire is always bad, but so much worse this time of year, I feel," said bakery owner Emily Woodward.
In October, McDonald also delivered lunches to firefighters covering the Hartford stations as the city mourned fallen firefighter Kevin Bell. "They're all very, very good customers," he said.
No one was injured in the fire, which was reported at 3:33 p.m. Wednesday, according to a police report. The fire marshal's office is investigating.