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Clothes drive helps families displaced in fire

Clothes drive for residents who lost everything in a fire at Oak Creek Apartments in Durham (Angelica Alvarez)
February 24, 2013 3:25:40 PM PST
A Durham church has come to the rescue for dozens of people displaced in a fire earlier this week.

Investigators believe the fire at Oak Creek Village Apartments was accidental, but 16 units were involved in the blaze.

All Saints Church teamed up with several others to help the more than 60 displaced residents get back on their feet. On Sunday, the church put together a clothing drive for those in need.

Durham Tech student Nelson Mendoza is one of those residents who visited Sunday's clothing drive trying to replace what was lost in the fire.

"I was actually working and I was rushing when my mom called me," Mendoza said. "I got here and it was the one beside us that caught on fire. From there, the whole fire just spread."

At Sunday's clothing drive they were able to take furniture, mattresses, and other household items to furnish their new units.

"What we did was reach out to all the churches and said 'Hey there was a fire , 61 people displaced would you have household items, money or gift cards to give? This is the overwhelming response," said Rev. Thomas Kortus with All Saints Church.

All but one of the displaced families relocated in the same apartment complex and were able to move in Saturday.

The Red Cross helped residents with emergency funds and utility deposits as they moved in.

"I really didn't expect a whole bunch of help but it's great that everybody is helping," Mendoza said.

Anyone who would like to help can donate items to the rental office at the Oak Creek Village Apartments.

The fire was ruled accidental due to some electrical wiring between a hot water heater and an electrical panel in the unit where the fire started.

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