UPDATE: Since this article was first published a secure donation site has been established. Those wishing to make a donation to help the Pham family can do so here: https://secure.cloud501.com/donor/phamfamily
A fire that ripped through a Santa Clara townhouse complex Wednesday destroyed the home of Maryhien Pham, a Lawson Middle School teacher. Now the school is coordinating efforts to support Pham and her family to help them.
“Thankfully the family is safe, but all of their possessions are gone,” wrote Jeff Bowman, principal, in a letter. “We would like to extend the invitation to the Lawson family community to support and help Mrs. Pham and her family.”
Pham, who teaches 7th and 8th grade math and science, and her family were able to recover a few items from the home and the Lawson “staff gathered a list of immediate needs” and coordinated "the purchase of these items,” Bowman’s letter said.
The Phams are staying with family and their basic needs are taken care of, said Marianne Walters, an 8th grade Lawson teacher helping to coordinate the donation effort.
At this time, to avoid overwhelming the family with material good donations, those wishing to help may send monetary or gift card donations, Walters said.
Donations can be sent to Lawson Middle School at 10401 Vista Drive in Cupertino. Checks should be made out directly to Maryhien Pham, not to the school because the school cannot process the checks on Pham’s behalf.
The five-alarm fire was first reported at about 10:05 p.m. Wednesday and is still under investigation. It destroyed several townhouses still under construction in the 1900 block of Hillebrant Place in Santa Clara, according to reports.
The fire also damaged cars in the parking lot and a number of nearby buildings, of which Pham’s home was included.
The unfinished buildings where the fire started did not have electrical wiring installed yet and no workers had been on the site for more than three hours, Layne Marceau, president of Shea Homes, told NBC Bay Area.