400 donated toys for underserved children destroyed after fire at storage house


PARAMUS, N.J. — Brenda Brundage is still trying to wrap her head around a devastating fire that ravaged the Paramus Little League baseball field house early Sunday morning.

Aside from destroying decades of trophies and memorabilia, the fire also wiped out nearly 400 donated toys being stored at the site.

Those toys were set to head to children in need as part of the Bergen County Toys for Tots toy drive spearheaded by Brundage for the past 16 years.

“It was almost surreal because you saw it and couldn’t believe what you were looking at,” Brundage told PIX11 news. “You know, a few hours earlier there were toys and pictures and wonderful memories — you know, memories that were going to happen that are now all gone.”

Charred action figures and the base of an Operation board game are just some the remnants left behind.

It was the first time the organization used the site for storage. The cause of the fire still under investigation.

Despite the setback, the toy drive is moving forward and is now collecting toys at the sports bar and restaurant The Orange Lantern in Paramus.

The goal to surpass their 2019 tally of 2,115 toys.

“This is not over yet, this is like a new beginning,” Brundage said. “So far there have been so many wonderful generous people who have come in and stopped in.”

Brundage will be accepting donations until Dec. 10.

As part of a long standing tradition, on the following day, the toys board the Operation Toy Train which works with the Marine Corps reserves to disperse them to families in need during the holiday season.

With a deadline looming, Brundage is determined to turn this around.

Interested in donating? You can drop off donations at:
The Orange Lantern
15 E Firehouse Ln
Paramus, NJ  07652
(201) 652-4443

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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