Organization helps residents who lost everything in Cornelius apartment fires

CORNELIUS, N.C. — The Merry Magic Project gave clothes and other items to residents who lost their homes in two fires that happened two days apart at a Cornelius apartment complex.

Melissa Cuff organized the event Saturday for families at the Bexley at Lake Norman Apartments.

“We got to talking about this and realized that we knew somebody who had been directly impacted and so the girls saw me get a crazy look in my eye and I said, ‘Let’s make this happen,’” Cuff said. “These people need help, and we shouldn’t just sit around and wait for someone else to do it.”

The Merry Magic Project typically helps people around Christmas, but Cuff felt the need to help the residents who were displaced.

Victims of the fire said the room full of clothes and other supplies was a welcomed sight.

“God bless this community. It’s so touching and overwhelming,” fire victim Lynne Torgersen told Channel 9.

Torgersen said she was in her home when the fire started, and her main concern was saving her cats.

“The oldest one saw the carrier and ran under the bed. I went back to the living room area to get the other car and the windows exploded,” Torgersen explained.

She said one of her cats died, while the other suffered severe lung damage.

Resident Charia Dillard told Channel 9 that she ran out of her apartment barefoot with her 18-month-old baby went the fire started. She said she was thankful for the help.

“If it wasn’t from the fire itself, it was ruined from water damage and smoke damage and things like that. So a lot of the clothes, even though we have them, it may not be much at all. So just the fact of this offering of the clothes and the detergent everything goes a long way,” Dillard said.

The first fire happened on May 3 and the second one happened two days later.

Discarded smoking materials caused the fire on May 5. The cause of the first fire has not been released yet.

No injuries were reported in the fires.

VIDEO: Second fire damages four units at Cornelius complex

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