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Church hosts toy drive after Virginia apartment building fire leaves 18 homeless

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Posted at 9:41 AM, Dec 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-24 09:41:05-05

NORFOLK, Va. -- A church delivered clothes and toys to the families left homeless after a fire destroyed a two-story apartment building in Norfolk Thursday night.

Rev. Darwin Little with Metropolitan AME Zion Church said the congregation is trying to do what they can to help the 18 people get through the holidays and back on their feet.

"This is a tragedy happening right here at Christmas, and I do want to say that we are going to take care of these kids that are going to wake up on Christmas Day without toys," Little told WTKR. "We're going to make sure that they are taken care of and we are going to help these families in any way possible..."

The American Red Cross of Virginia is also assisting the people displaced from the eight apartments on Springfield Avenue.

One mother who lived there said she feels like she is starting over from scratch.

"Especially us with children, we lost everything except for our lives," she said.

The woman said she was at her kitchen table with her kids when she started smelling smoke.

"A good Samaritan knocked on my door. He was banging on my door, 'Get out, get out. It's a fire,'" she recalled.

She said the man grabbed one of her kids and they ran out to the parking lot.

"I see the black smoke, then I see it gulf up real bad from one apartment to another," the woman said. "To the one over and you couldn't tell which one was exactly on fire."

Officials said no one was injured in the fire. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

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