Fire victims get a helping hand for the holidays

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by JESSICA HOLLOWAY / KVUE News and photojournalist MATT OLSEN

kvue.com

Posted on December 24, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Updated Monday, Dec 24 at 12:36 PM

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas -- Dozens of families were forced out of their homes after a devastating fire. Now they're getting a special surprise in time for Christmas.

Around 2 a.m. Thursday, firefighters were called to the International Residence apartments.

Fire shot 30 feet into the air and quickly spread to three different apartment buildings. Sixty-eight units were destroyed, leaving families homeless just days before Christmas.

Everyone has found a new place to stay, but families tell KVUE they lost their clothing, photographs, vehicles and other belongings. Donations have been pouring into the Red Cross, Salvation Army and other outside collection drives.

On Christmas Eve, volunteers are adopting families who have children that attend Forest North Elementary School. The volunteers will bring hot meals and gifts to the families to help replace the things otherwise lost in the fire.

The Austin Disaster Relief Network is helping many people who lost important belongings, such as a motorized scooter that was damaged.

If you'd like to offer any donations, you can do so through the Red Cross of Central Texas.

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