Tragic Fire at Barclay Friends

Friday, Nov. 17, 2017

Dear Friends,

We are so, so sad to report that last night there was a tragic fire at Barclay Friends, a Kendal Affiliate in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Despite a swift, effective, and compassionate response by first responders, along with Barclay Friends staff and so many volunteers, the physical loss is devastating and the emotional toll, even more so.

In time, we’ll know more about what happened, what’s to be done going forward, and how we can all hold Barclay Friends and its people up through this devastation and into the future.
In the meantime, our first priorities include caring for the residents and their families during this immediate transition. Starting at the triage centers, Barclay Friends staff and the community’s neighbors began doing everything within their power to ensure levels of continuity in care and compassion during the evacuation, knowing the suffering and fear that part of such a catastrophe.

As the day and weekend goes on, residents from Barclay Friends now dispersed over many different communities in and around Chester County will rest, begin to heal, and commence with the longer range planning to support more permanent transitions as they may be needed. Kendal and Barclay Friends staff will do this work together with the residents and their families. Our teams, over time, will also be aided by the numbers of friends and colleagues from Pennsylvania and all over the United States who have reached out and want to help.

Again, our hearts go out to the residents, their families, the staff and their families at Barclay Friends. All of our thoughts and prayers will continue to be vital, as well as will the continuance of good work and outpouring of support that emerged last night and has sustained us through the morning hours.

As we know more we will be sure to deliver updates. In the meantime, we are heartbroken by what’s befallen Barclay Friends and uplifted by the caring and generosity that surrounds them and us.


Sean Kelly
Kendal President and CEO