A local human services agency that provides basic job and life skills support to those suffering mental illness or struggling with low income is looking for the public's help after a weekend fire that was set deliberately destroyed vans it uses to transport clients.
Employment Options Inc. said its fleet of vans was hit by fire early Saturday morning. Insurance is not expected to cover the full cost of replacing the vans, the agency said.
Police and fire crews responded to the agency's facility at 82 Brigham St. around 2 a.m. Saturday and found an active fire that police say was set by someone who committed suicide by setting their own vehicle on fire. Police did not release the identity of that person or any further information.
Davis Cowles, a volunteer at Employment Options, said the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority was quick to offer a temporary loan of some vans until the agency can find the funding for permanent replacements. He said people have been quick to offer financial support and other help.
"We had such a tragic weekend," Cowles said. "Everyone was in shock. Those vans are everything because our clients don't drive. They allow us to help so many people.
"If anyone has a used van that is in good shape they could donate, it would be appreciated and put to great use," he added.
Anyone who wishes to help Employment Options is asked to call 508-485-5051- EXT. 222 or to contact the agency at www.employmentoptions.org.