The nonprofit Mecklenburg Ministries has launched a campaign to help the 130 people who were left homeless after an intentionally set fire on Monday morning.
Charlotte Fire Department investigators say 40 apartments were affected by the fire at the Woodscape apartments on Farm Pond Lane. A few people escaped by jumping from third-floor windows and balconies, and at least two families reportedly threw their children and even an infant over the balconies to people standing on the ground below.
“Many of them lost everything and are in immediate need of housing and other resources,” said a statement from Mecklenburg Ministries.
The agency is asking the public to give clothing, shoes, personal items, baby and toddler supplies. Items can be dropped off at New Hope Baptist Church at 7821 Idlewild Road, officials said.
Money donations are also encouraged and can be sent to the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice. For details, email Amantha Barbee, Pastor, Statesville Avenue Presbyterian Church, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mecklenburg Ministries can be reached at 704-565-5455.
The Charlotte Fire Department continues to investigate the fire.
Department officials say each breezeway in the apartment building had properly serviced fire extinguishers at the time of the fire. Each apartment had smoke detectors installed and fire inspectors checked numerous units. All had properly working detectors, officials said on Monday, via twitter.
The Red Cross opened a temporary shelter at Albemarle Road Middle School to help the tenants. The organization is also assisting the displaced residents by offering financial assistance for food, clothing, lodging and other items, reports the Observer’s news partner WBTV.
Donations to Red Cross disaster relief operations can be made at redcross.org/nc or by calling 800-REDCROSS.