Donations Requested for Families, Students Displaced by Fire

Gift card donations are being requested to help families displaced by a large apartment fire over the weekend in far northeast Dallas.

The need is especially great because several of those who lost everything are school-aged children heading back to school.

One family is having to start over with a new born and a son returning to class.

"This is Kenzo. He's a week old today," said Rogers Tucker.

It has been a week full of blessings and challenges for the Tucker family.

Tucker, his fiancé and 5-year-old son were at the hospital with their newest member and came home to an unexpected surprise.

"Burning apartment," he said. "It was just me and my 5-year-old son and just imagine him seeing that. We had no idea what we were walking into."

Dallas Fire Rescue said the fire grew so large it was classified a four-alarm and was started by a child playing with a lighter.

The fire displaced 22 residents at the Vineyards at Forest Edge on Audelia Road, including at least four school-aged children heading back to schools in Dallas and nearby Richardson.

Little Kenzo's nursery was destroyed, as was his big brother's school clothes and supplies.

"He had everything," said Tucker. "His mom and I did everything we could to get everything possible for him and his brother and you don't have anything."

Instead of heading back to his school in Dallas next week, Kaio has already started his kindergarten year in Rowlett where the family is staying for now.

On Monday, Kaio posed for a picture on his first day of class clutching a football.

"He's a little soldier," said Tucker. "I tip my hat to my little 5-year-old boy. He's a real trooper."

The tuckers are grateful for their son's pee wee football team the Mesquite Mustangs, other friends and family for gathering baby items and helping them start over.

The Lake Highlands Public Improvement District is also stepping in to help by accepting gift cards for displaced families, especially babies and students.

Gift cards can be dropped off at the Lake Highlands PID located at 8676 Skillman Avenue in the Royal Highlands Shopping Center.

The center can receive gift cards between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

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