Harrisburg community unites to support fire victims

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Mother’s Subs teamed up with Harrisburg City Council for the “Citywide Call to Action” on Wednesday night.

People donated gift cards, clothing and non-perishable food items to help families devastated by fires along Lexington and Walnut streets on March 10 and 12.

Councilman Cornelius Johnson helped organize the event that he says will help nearly 40 people.

“We can’t bring back the lives lost,” Johnson said. “People lost belongings that they will never get back, so this is a small token to give them a path forward to a new beginning.”

Johnson says the donations will be distributed to all families, and they will have an opportunity to pick out donated clothing.

Theresa Harris lived next door to both girls killed in the Lexington Street fire. She says they always said “hello” when they saw her.

Harris was not at home at the time of the fire.

“I feel sad and guilty,” Harris said. “Had I been home, I could have probably helped them by coming through my window to try and save them.”

Harris says the outpouring of support she has received from strangers and people at the event has been overwhelming.

“Sometimes life deals you a bad hand,” Harris said, “but this lets you know that you are not alone, when people take time out to help others.”

Harrisburg Bureau of Fire Lt. Dennis Devoe died after he was involved in a hit-and-run crash en route to the Lexington Street fire. Dozens of firefighters were on hand to show their support Wednesday night, and they helped bring in donations from cars that were parked near the restaurant.

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