Community steps up to help Pineville apartment fire victims ahead of holiday season

North Carolina

PINEVILLE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — A little help can go a long way, and in Pineville, that help was happening in spades Wednesday afternoon to help those affected by last week’s apartment fire.

“This gives them the first step towards having a home again,” said Jane Shutt of Pineville Neighbors Place, which has been organizing fundraisers and donations for 14 families displaced by the blaze that tore through a building at The Park at Caterina apartment complex.

Shutt said the organization was able to organize a massive donation of furniture for four families that lost their belongings in the fire, some of which were dispersed Wednesday. The furniture primarily came from churches, who had the items in storage, Shutt said.

“It gives them a chair to sit in, because they are going into these places with four walls, and no place to sit or lay their head,” said Shutt.

The effort to give back is expansive. FOX 46 has previously told you about donation and fundraising efforts, but the furniture donation, arguably, is the most immediate and substantive sign of a new beginning for the residents displaced by the fire.

The items include beds, couches, televisions along with some help from the firefighters that responded to the blaze, moving the items into the new homes.

“Often in emergency services, we always see people in their worst-case scenario,” said Chief Michael Gerin.  “That happens a lot with us. So, getting to see (that turning point) today is really fun for our people.”

The dispersal may be a new beginning, but emotions are still raw among residents displaced by the complex fire, which destroyed 16 units and impacted 14 families.

Questions still remain from residents on what started the fire, and how it was able to spread as quickly as it did. Gerin said that is currently under investigation by the Mecklenburg County Fire Marshal.

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