Local Co. Donates New Furniture to Fire Victims

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A North Texas businessman is offering 12 families free furniture after a devastating fire destroyed all of their belongings on Sunday.

    Steve Sherman, with Welton USA in Coppell, is offering each of the families a living room, dining room and bedroom set at no cost.  If the family has children, he is even tossing in bunk beds.

    Fire Rips Through Waxahachie Apartment Complex

    [DFW] Fire Rips Through Waxahachie Apartment Complex
    Many residents left with nothing.

    Sherman said he saw some of the victims interviewed after the fire and was struck by the devastation they suffered and felt called to help.

    The company's generosity could save the families an estimated $5,000 each on the replacement cost of furniture lost in the fire.  The Dallas Chapter of the American Red Cross is working with Welton USA to secure the donations for the families.

    In the past, Welton has made donations to the Collin County Children's Advocacy Center in Plano for abused and neglected children.

    The Fire

    On Sunday, some 50 firefighters responded to battle the fire on the 400 block of Peters Road in Waxahachie.  When firefighters arrived, the building was already fully involved.

    Residents said they saw a fire coming from the second floor of the Grove Terrace Aparments, and just moments after escaping the building it became fully engulfed in flames pushed along by high winds.

    "We just heard people saying, 'Come out!' I came outside to see what was going on and the smoke just engulfed and got all the way in the house," said Donielle Cross, who had only moved to the apartment complex a few months before. "I couldn't see, so I just went down the stairs. By the time I got down the stairs all of the stuff was falling down."

    At least seven neighboring fire departments helped to put out the fire that engulfed 12 apartment units housing 43 people.

    All of the residents got out of the building safely, though many got out with just the clothes on their backs.  Firefighters saved six pets from the burning building.

    "At first I missed her and we couldn't find her," said Jeremy Brown about his chihuahua named Princess. "I thought she was dead for awhile and then the fire station came out and they were putting out the fire and they found her in the closet."

    The Red Cross provided food and shelter to those who lost their homes, but that help won't last forever.

    "It's hard," said Cross. "I just moved here so I'm going to have to try to start over with nothing. I don't know what else to do."