TOMS RIVER - A non-profit organization at the Jersey Shore that was wiped out by a fire two years ago was destroyed once again by a fire this week.
The Hometown Heroes organization helps veterans, the elderly and Sandy survivors recover from tragedies. It has helped more than 10,000 people since it was founded eight years ago.
President Mike Schwartz says that he can’t believe a fire has occurred a second time.
“It's surreal, surreal. We still haven't recovered from the first fire two years ago and now to have this happen. It's overwhelming,” he says.
Tuesday’s fire at Hometown Heroes’ offices on Washington Street in Toms River destroyed all of the organization’s desks, computers and files for the second time in as many years.
Schwartz says that he will rebuild once again and continue helping those in need, but asks people to be patient.
“Until we're up and running, it's gonna be a little tough to get to those people, but we encourage people if they need help to go to our website and send us a message,” he says.
One of the obstacles is that the insurance claim from the first fire hasn't been settled yet.
Schwartz says that he is already looking for a new office space.
The organization is now receiving donations from some of the very people it has helped.