Victims of devastating fire get a holiday surprise – just in time for Christmas

Victims of fire get big surprise just in time for Christmas

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Cell phone video captured the moments a devastating fire destroyed several apartments one week ago at a DeKalb County complex. People had to jump from second-story windows to save their lives.

Now, a DeKalb County church has stepped out to help the families impacted by the fire.

Ryan Horsham told Channel 2′s Berndt Petersen that she has been through more in the last week than some face in a lifetime.

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“Dec. 11 is a day, unfortunately, we will never forget,” Horsham said.

A fire destroyed her apartment home and several others along Fairington Village Drive in DeKalb County.

Some 30 people are now homeless. Several people were also injured. Investigators said 18 people were forced to jump out of windows to save their lives.


“The kids were petrified. They’re scared. Now we’re just trying to recover,” Horsham said.

But now, they’re getting some help.

“We just wanted to say, ‘What can we do?’ The times we’re in – winter and COVID – we wanted to help families in need,” said Roberta Shields of The Ludacris Foundation.

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church hosted a surprise presentation for victims of the fire that included gifts of $500, food, clothes and Christmas presents for the children.

The church, the American Red Cross, CVS and The Ludacris Foundation teamed up to host it.

“With many people hovering and sequestered at home, regrettably, they don’t have that option,” said New Birth pastor the Rev. Jamal Bryan.

“I hope we all take pride in the effort to reach out to folks who have had a disaster,” said Mike Richardson of the American Red Cross.

Horsham summed it all up in two words: “Miracles. Blessings.”

She told Peterson that despite what happened to her and others, it will still be a merry Christmas.

Dramatic video shows people jumping from 3rd floor window to escape fire that hurt 18