Disaster Assistance Approved for Victims of Montgomery County Fire in Pa.

Oct 19, 2012, 14:50 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration approved his request to declare Montgomery County a disaster area after a devastating fire in Cheltenham Township destroyed dozens of homes in a 55-unit condominium complex earlier this month.

Small Business Administration (SBA) officials, along with local and state officials, conducted damage assessments at the site. The governor used the damage assessment results to support his assistance request to the SBA. 

"The effects of a house fire are felt long after the fire is put out," Corbett said. "We are grateful that the Small Business Administration granted our request for assistance for those affected by this fire."

According to Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Glenn Cannon, the damage from the fire exceeds the SBA criteria of at least 25 homes and/or businesses with uninsured losses of 40 percent or more of their estimated fair market value.

Low-interest loans of up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. SBA regulations permit loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property. Businesses and nonprofits can borrow up to $2 million to restore damaged or destroyed buildings, inventory, equipment and assets. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial qualifications.

The SBA has established a disaster loan outreach center at Manor Apartments – Arcadia University, 777 Limekiln Pike, Glenside, PA 19038. It will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23; Wednesday, Oct. 24; Friday, Oct. 26; and Monday, Oct. 29. Alternate hours are noon to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27. The center will be closed on Sunday, Oct. 28 and will close permanently at the end of the day on Monday, Oct. 29.

SBA customer service representatives will be on hand at the disaster loan outreach center to issue loan applications, answer questions about the disaster loan program, explain the application process and help individuals to complete their applications.

Individuals and businesses unable to visit the center in person may obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., or by e-mailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov

Business loan applications can also be downloaded from the SBA website at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.

Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. Victims may apply for disaster loans from SBA's secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Default.aspx.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Dec. 17, 2012. The deadline to return economic injury applications is July 18, 2013. 

Media contacts: Ruth A. Miller, PEMA: 717-651-2009

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor