For Immediate Release - January 24, 2007

GOVERNOR PATRICK REQUESTS SBA ASSISTANCE FOR LAWRENCE FIRE VICTIMS

Aid Sought for the Over 100 individuals Impacted by Blaze

BOSTON- Thursday, January 24, 2007 - Governor Deval Patrick today sent a letter to the Small Business Administration (SBA) requesting assistance for the victims of a massive fire in the City of Lawrence. The multiple-alarm blaze, which destroyed fourteen buildings, broke out on the corner of Parker & Market Streets on January 21, 2008.

"We continue to work together with all of our partners to help those whose lives have been changed so dramatically by this tragedy," Governor Patrick. "This additional assistance can go a long way to help those impacted rebuild their lives and remain a vital part of the Lawrence community."

Included in these buildings were three houses for The Greater Lawrence Habitat for Humanity, an apartment building that housed several special needs individuals, and several businesses. Two triple-deckers and a single-family home were also heavily damaged on nearby Springfield Street. The fire displaced over 100 residents, causing the American Red Cross to open a shelter to house many of the displaced residents.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has conducted a Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) and determined that the damage to this area exceeds the Small Business Administration (SBA) criteria for a disaster declaration: damage to a minimum of 25 homes and/or businesses resulting in uninsured losses of 40 percent or more of the estimated fair market value.

Based upon that assessment, Governor Patrick has requested that Essex County be declared a disaster areaby the SBA so that low interest loans may be made available to the affected renters, home owners and business owners.

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