highland hills apartments

Nonprofits Spur Donation Drive for Families Recovering From Apartment Explosion

Furniture, fresh produce and school uniforms part of donations to help recovering families

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A Dallas-based nonprofit says all but five families displaced from an apartment explosion have either found a new home or have moved back into the Highland Hills complex.

On Sunday, nonprofit organizations came together to deliver a variety of donated items directly to families affected by the explosion.

Tramonica Brown, the executive director of Dallas-based nonprofit “Not My Son” spent the afternoon working to distribute a variety of items donated to families from furniture to fresh produce and school uniforms.

“This whole apartment complex took a loss,” Brown said. The only thing that matters is that these people are able to move on and sleep a little better than they did when this happened.”

Eight people were hurt, including four firefighters with Dallas Fire-Rescue who were critically injured after a natural gas explosion on September 29.

The blast heavily damaged a building that was later torn down and it displaced all 250 residents for weeks.

Many have moved back now. Synicia Johnson did not.  She lived in the building closest to the explosion and was there when it happened.

“I think about the firefighters that got hurt and then I look and it could’ve been me,” Johnson said.

She adds the trauma from seeing the injured that day led her to look for an apartment in a different location.  However, she came back Sunday to the complex parking lot to pick up some donated items like fresh produce and school uniforms for her family.

Johnson added she also wanted to say thank you to the volunteer organizations who have supported those displaced from the beginning.

“Every one of them that stood up and fought for us, struggled to fight for us I’m never going to forget,” Johnson said.

Brown said late Sunday the nonprofit is working to tabulate the total number of items distributed to families but said the mission to support those affected continues.

“When the cameras go away, when 'Not My Son' goes away, I want them to have some lasting impression that someone actually cared,” Brown said.

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