Lothlorien Fire Information Page

This page is to provide information to members of Lothlorien Cooperative House following the fire in their building. If you have resources to offer members that you would like listed on this page, please email services@madisoncommunity.coop to post those.
Last update Friday September 27, at 3:15pm

New Information added Friday morning:

Dear members of Lothlorien Coop,
Today is Friday, September 27, 2013.
Thanks to everyone for their hard work in clearing rooms and common areas of the house. Paul Davis crews were able to get right to work, without having to work around peoples’ things too much, which helps save a lot of money and time.
Open building hours will end as of 6:00pm today, September 27, 2013. After September 27, building access can be arranged by calling Mark Norton, MCC’s finance officer, at 414-324-9282, or by email at menorton0@gmail.com.  Please contact Mark in advance, if you need to access the building, as access will not be ‘on demand.’
The dumpster located in the driveway is available to Loth members to throw things away.
Any items not located in the ‘stable’ storage areas located throughout the building, by Friday, October 4, 2013, will be considered abandoned and will be disposed of.
Loth members should arrange to have any remaining personal items removed by October 4. After October 4, common property will be housed on site in a storage locker, to be located in the driveway.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions. I can be reached during normal business hours at 608-213-3551.
Michael Carlson
MCC Maintenance Coordiator

New Information added Thursday morning:

September 18, 2013
This information is being sent via email to members of Lothlorien Cooperative.
Dear Lothlorien members,
We’ve been communicating mostly via the lothfire website, but we also know that many of you are busy trying to move your belongings, arrange places to live, and stay caught up with work and school, and may not be checking that page often. So, we are emailing some key information so that everyone will have it.

  1. September rent reimbursement checks are available for everyone who paid rent in September. To arrange to pick up your check from the MCC office, or to have it mailed to you, please contact Kathy at finance@madisoncommunity.coop or 608-251-2667. MCC’s Coordinating Committee decided to reimburse you for the entire month, not just the portion of the month when the building was uninhabitable.
  2. If you’d like to forward your mail to the MCC office, we are happy to hold it for you. You can fill out a form to do this for free at the Post Office. MCC’s address is 1202 Williamson Street, Suite 106, Madison, WI 53703.
  3. MCC is offering members the option to be released from their membership contract with MCC/Lothlorien. If you choose to do this, we would sign a mutual termination agreement, and MCC would refund your security deposit minus any debt. You would still be able to apply for membership at any MCC house in the future. If you maintain your membership contract at Lothlorien, MCC will continue to hold your security deposit, and you will be responsible for paying for your room once the building is re-inhabitable.
  4. MCC is working hard to ensure that Lothlorien stays secure, and to ensure that we’re able to carry out the most crucial work to stabilize the building and to prevent further damage.

Some rooms at Lothlorien require immediate attention and accessibility, so that we can open up walls and dry out walls before mold sets in, and so we can finish our assessment of the damage of the building.
Other areas of Lothlorien are undamaged by water or fire, and we’re able to use those areas as staging, as members look for new places for themselves and their belongings.
To these ends, we’re asking the following of Lothlorien members:

  • That all members in rooms that need immediate attention, remove all personal items from those rooms, by Friday, September 20, 2013 – these rooms and areas will be clearly marked before the work party on Thursday begins;
  • Members from Lothlorien will be holding a work party at the house, on Thursday, September 19, to help clear those rooms, and to box up unclaimed items they deem worth saving on behalf of the affected members;
  • Any items that can’t be removed by Friday, September 20th can be stored in the ‘stable’ areas of the building – these areas will be clearly marked, and will be available for members until Friday, October 4, to use as temporary storage;
  • That by next Friday, September 27th, all members remove their personal items from the house, or that they move remaining items into the ‘stable’ staging areas;
  • That by next Friday, September 27th, Lothlorien members sort through their common property (kitchen ware, tooling, books, furniture, art, etc.) and consolidate items worth saving, into a pile.

We’d like to begin the remaining emergency work, this coming Monday, September 23rd.  Any items that remain in the ‘immediate’ (vs. ‘stable’) areas of the building, will be treated as abandoned at that time, and will be removed by Paul Davis construction crews as they prepare the site.
As soon as Paul Davis has finished their work next week, we’ll plan to have a PODS storage locker delivered to Lothlorien, to store the common items reserved by the house.
If you have exceptional circumstances in terms of furniture or belongings, please contact Michael at 608-213-3551 to arrange an alternate plan.

New Information added Friday afternoon:

Lothlorien members: If there are items you need, there are members of the community who would love to provide. Fill out the anonymous form at tinyurl.com/loth-fire to request clothing, food, toiletries, medications, books, etc. If you know people who have items to donate, you can direct them to tinyurl.com/help-an-elf, where they can see what items are needed.
Magda from Rochdale writes: "We have no openings at Rochdale, but plenty of couch space and possibility of other temporary arrangements for those displaced by the fire. People are also welcome to come use our kitchen. Have them call me at 608-216-5313 or email cooprochdale@gmail.com."

New Information added Friday morning:

September rent reimbursement checks are ready! Please contact Kathy Parker to arrange to either pick up your check, or have it mailed to you. Kathy can be reached at finance@madisoncommunity.coop or 608-251-2667.
Syntropy dinner on Friday night: Allison writes: "I will cook a dinner at Syntropy Friday night - one meat and one vegan soup (all local/organic) with bread (GF option) and salad.  MCC members from Lothlorian are welcome to join Syntropians, and can email me or text (443-786-0889) that they will attend so I can make sure to make enough food. Dinner will be ready by 6:30 PM. We can put on a movie, play banana grams, or just sit on the porch and watch the traffic go by for a bit of a respite."
Information for students, from the Dean of Students at UW, including housing (temporary and permanent), textbook replacement, and counseling.
University of Wisconsin – Madison Fire Crisis Resources
Crisis loans, academic assistance and referrals, general advocacy and support
Dean of Students Office – 608-263-5700
Contact:  Dean of Students office
On-Call Dean, Monday – Friday, 8:30-4:00pm
Emergency crisis counseling
Counseling and Consultation Services – 608-265-5600 (24 hour crisis line)
Contact:  Danielle Oakley, Director
Emergency and short term housing options
University Housing – 608-262-2873, Contact:  David Swiderski david.swiderski@housing.wisc.edu
Visitor and Information Programs – for Off Campus Housing information, Contact: Helena Manning, 608-263-2452
University Bookstore – 608-257-3784 (for students who lost textbooks)
Contact: Patrick McGowan or Kevin Phelps
608-310-5950  608-310-5951

New Information added Thursday afternoon:

  • Phoenix Cooperative is offering the following to members of Lothlorien:
    • Their kitchen is open for food through Sunday dinner. House dinners are at 7pm, but members of Lothlorien are welcome to come in at any time to get food.
    • They are open to people crashing in common space. Contact Talia at 414-791-9202.
    • They also have a free pile with a lot of clothing, and members can donate more if there are specific needs.
  • Clothing for young children: Project Babies, an organization located down the hall from MCC's office, has clothing and other items for young kids (under 4, primarily). Contact Jeanne at jeanne.erickson@projectbabies.org or 608-770-2049.

New Information added Thursday morning:

  • Building access: Building access for members to retrieve their personal belongings will be from 9am-6pm, starting today, and continuing through Friday, September 20th. You will need to provide your name and date of birth to the security guard.
  • Electronics: Jim Hersh at Paul Davis Restoration has offered to do restoration on members' personal electronics if you don't have insurance. A lot of electronics had water and smoke damage. Contact him directly at 608-235-6119.
  • Child Care: Lavender Knight, a former member of several MCC houses, is offering respite childcare to Lothlorien members. Contact her at (608)219-0659 and leave a message. Also, the Respite Center at the Center for Families is a resource that can provide childcare. Their number is 608-244-5700.
  • Moving: Beth Clark, a former member of Lothlorien, has offered to help people with moving their belongings. Call her at 608-852-4202.

New Information as of Wednesday evening:

A few new pieces of information for members of Lothlorien:

  • MCC's Coordinating Committee has decided to reimburse Lothlorien members for full September rent. Contact Kathy Parker, MCC's Finance Coordinator, at finance@madisoncommunity.coop or 608-251-2667, ext 2.
  • Starting on Thursday, September 12, there will be a private security company at 244 West Lakelawn. This is to limit access to the building due to serious safety concerns raised by the Madison Building Inspector. Members of the house WILL be able to access your belongings! The company will have a list of members. Exact hours will be posted later, but will be during daytime due to the lack of electricity in the building.
  • If you don't have renter's insurance: If your parents have homeowners insurance, it is possible that you may be covered under their policy - check with them to find out.
  • Mail forwarding: If you want to forward your mail to MCC's office (1202 Williamson Street, Suite 106, Madison 53703), we will hold onto it for you. We don't know what mail delivery to 244 West Lakelawn will be like in the coming days/weeks.
  • As of now, we still don't have an estimate of when the building will be approved for people to live in. People should definitely begin looking for other housing at this time (see more information below).


This information was sent to members of Lothlorien and MCC this afternoon (download PDF):

September 11, 2013
Information for Residents of Lothlorien Cooperative House
Currently, the Building Inspection Department has declared the building to be uninhabitable. People will not be able to move back in until the city declares it safe. However, people can return to retrieve belongings from their rooms on Thursday – we will have more information about specific times later on Wednesday night, and will post this information at http://madisoncommunity.coop/lothfire.
Options for Temporary/Emergency Housing
We do not yet know how long the building will be uninhabitable, but we are estimating that it may be close to a month before anyone can live in the building again, and much longer (at least 6 months) for the more heavily damaged parts.
Many co-ops and local organizations have opened their doors to people needing places to sleep for the next few days. Please contact them directly to make arrangements:

  • The Red Cross: They will provide a shelter and meals at West High School, on Regent Street, starting 5:30pm today (Wednesday).  With questions, call Sheila at 608-232-5825. 
  • MCC Cooperatives: Many other MCC houses have offered couch space, guest rooms, and floor space to members of Lothlorien. Contact them directly to make arrangements.
  • Other local cooperatives: Several other houses in the area have offered help, including housing and showers:
    • Rochdale Cooperative: Contact Magda at 608-216-5313.
    • Summit Avenue Cooperative may be able to provide limited temporary housing – they will be in touch about this.
    • Nottingham has opened their doors to members.
    • Rivendell has offered space as well. You can contact them at 608-255-8588.
  • Hostel: The Madison Youth Hostel has both shared rooms on a short term basis as well as rooms on a month-to-month basis, for rates comparable to MCC. Their phone number is 608-441-0144.

Other Resources
We have set up a website where all of this information can be found: http://madisoncommunity.coop/lothfire
Syntropy Cooperative (812 Jenifer Street) writes: “Our house would like to offer dinner to any Loth people that need food. Tomorrow night (Thursday) John is cooking and will cook plenty extra.  Dinner tomorrow night will be at 6:30. Over the weekend, I'm not positive when, but there will be extra meals made that anyone from Loth can drop in on. We'll try to send you a schedule of when someone might cook so you could let them know for sure. Dinner is usually at 7.”
Members of the Santa Barbara Student Housing Cooperative (their executive director used to live at Summit Avenue and writes that Lothlorien was the first housing cooperative he ever stayed at) have offered donations of clothing or whatever else would be useful. If there are things members of Lothlorien need, contact Rek at MCC, who can pass on these requests.
Reimbursement of Rent for the Remainder of September
If you have paid rent for September, please contact Kathy Parker at 608-251-2667 or finance@madisoncommunity.coop, and you can be reimbursed for the money you paid for September 11th-30th. (If you have not yet paid, you are still responsible for paying for the period from September 1st-10th, but not beyond).
Release from Contract
If you want to terminate your contract with MCC/Lothlorien in order to seek other housing, we completely understand. In order to terminate your contract:

  • Notify MCC in writing that you want to end your contract, and provide a forwarding address where we can send your security deposit.
  • We will sign a mutual contract termination with you (usually, this requires Individual Issues Committee approval – we will ask Individual Issues to automatically approve all terminations for people at Lothlorien who wish to seek other housing). This will release you from your lease.
  • You will receive your security deposit ($200) to your forwarding address (minus any debt that you have).
  • If you currently owe the house money from prior to September 11, 2013, you are still responsible for that debt.

If you need a copy of your current contract, contact Rek at 608-658-9390.