"I don’t want to see my mom suffer,” James Menkal said about his fundraising efforts, which aim to also support others who lost their homes in the fires
A Colorado man is raising money for his mom and her neighbors after their apartments were damaged by a fire — not once but twice.
Linda Jones is among numerous former tenants at the Club Valencia condominiums who lost everything when two separate fires ravaged their units in Arvada 10 months ago, and then again in February, according to ABC affiliate KMGH-TV.
After seeing his mom walk away from the blazes with only her dog, Sugar, James Menkal took action.
"I don’t want to see my mom suffer," Menkal told the news station. "And what I can do and what I know how to do is put on events and bartend."
To that end, the bartender — who was named one of Denver’s best by Eater in 2016 — coordinated a fundraiser to generate money to aid his mom after her displacement, per KMGH.
With a goal of reaching $70,000 — which would pay for Linda’s mortgage for five years — Menkal threw a get-together at a plant nursery over the weekend.
A GoFundMe campaign is looking to further meet his goal, so that he can not only help his mom but also other former residents of the complex. As of Tuesday, the campaign had raised $11,967.
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"I can’t imagine other people who are in a worse situation . . . what they’re going to do. It breaks my heart," Menkal told the station.
To date, 160 units are still uninhabitable, KMGH reports, and insurance claims have been denied due to the lack of maintenance at the complex.
The South Metro Fire Rescue, Menkal and the property manager did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's requests for comment.
Menkal confirms that, claiming in his GoFundMe, in part: “The insurance claims on the building were denied."
From Linda’s perspective, she is thankful that her son and others are looking out for her, after she lost so much.
"We’ve had a lot of fires in our state and a lot of things happen in our world, but this is my world that I have to deal with and if I can get on my feet then I can help my friends," she told KMGH.
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