By Mary Arata
AYER -- On June 18, a five-alarm fire ripped through the building at 63 Main St., displacing four households. The building was a total loss and has since been demolished.
While the building smoldered, Ayer Business Alliance President Chuck King rallied the community to aid the fire victims. Clothing, food and furniture drives resulted, benefiting the 10 residents left homeless.
King also organized fundraising events, including an open-mike night at Billiards Café, and collected donations at the Alliance's Classic Car Show held at Depot Square -- just across the street from the destroyed building.
Through dollars thrown into hats and from major donors who wrote checks to the cause, King gathered the accumulated money -- $6,200 in all -- and divided the contents of the 63 Main Street Fire Relief Fund into equal checks of $620, presenting them to each of the 10 victims on July 19.