• Community comes together to help fire victims

    By: Lauren Pozen


    DECATUR, Ga. - A local community is stepping up to help dozens of people who were left homeless when a fire tore through their apartment complex.

    Now, DeKalb County residents are stepping in to buy those residents basic necessities.

    “We just had chills down our spine when we saw the children having to be dropped from balconies into the arms of firefighters,” neighbor Patti Ghezzi told Channel 2’s Lauren Pozen.

    The fire ripped through a section of the Avondale Forest Apartments on Wednesday.

    Some 50 people were displaced and left with nothing. That is what inspired Ghezzi to take action.


    “Seven of the families have children in the Avondale Elementary School, so those are the seven families we identified we would try to make sure the crisis doesn’t break them,” Ghezzi said.

    Ghezzi then started a donation drive. Initially, it was just to get the children new school uniforms, but it quickly grew into something much bigger.

    “When you ask a family around here to donate one thing, they don’t just donate one thing. They donate about 100 things,” Ghezzi said.

    Ghezzi’s storage room is filled with things many of us may take for granted.

    “Glassware, full sets, pots and pans never used,” Ghezzi said.

    People also donated clothes and bought such items as laundry soap and toiletries.

    The families will be receiving the donations from the community on Monday, which is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

    That day was chosen because of its special significance.

    “We want to make sure we don’t let, this doesn’t break any of our Avondale Elementary School family,” Ghezzi said.  

    There’s also a GoFundMe account for the families. As of Tuesday night, more than $11,000 had been raised for the families. 

    Pozen was told that the money will be split equally among the seven families and they’ll be given a check on Wednesday.

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