Raytown fire victims thankful for community’s donations

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RAYTOWN, Mo. -- There's been an outpouring of support for 10 families who lost their homes following a deadly apartment fire Sunday. A team of national investigators is working to determine what started the fire.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' national response team is removing rubble from the fire in 5-gallon buckets and searching for evidence one bucket at a time.

The ATF arrived at the Raytown fire to investigate on Tuesday.

The ATF arrived at the Raytown fire to investigate on Tuesday.

John Ham, Public Information Officer with the ATF Kansas City Field Division, said Wednesday that investigative crews were having a very productive day. The wind was cooperating, allowing teams to use a crane to clear out rubble, and authorities conducted at least 15 interviews.

In the meantime, donations are piling up at the Raytown Christian Church for the 10 tenants displaced by the fire. Volunteers are sorting through clothes, toys and personal hygiene products so that victims can stop by and get what they need.

One of the survivors, who requested that FOX 4 only use his first name, Deon, needed some bedding for his new apartment. He says he's grateful for all of the giving, from neighbors he doesn't even know.

"It’s a blessing," Deon said. "We appreciate everything that they have done for us. They looked out for us, provided us shelter and food, vouchers and things like that. So we couldn’t ask for anything better."

Deon says while he lost most everything he owns in the fire, he says some of his property is water damaged and hopes to salvage a few things. He says he managed to retrieve his debit card from the rubble and some personal identification. That's helped him tremendously the last couple of days.

The pastor at the church says there have been more than enough clothing donations for the victims. She says what's really needed are diapers, bedding and beds. Those supplies can be dropped off from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 6108 Blue Ridge Blvd.

Jeremiah Roberts, 4,  was killed in the fire.

4-year-old Jeremiah (Photo courtesy of family)

4-year-old Jeremiah (Photo courtesy of family)

Jeremiah's 18-month-old brother Jabin, was rescued from the fire, but now faces a harrowing ordeal after suffering severe burns on 70 percent of his body.  The 18-month-old is currently on life support, listed in critical condition.

Jabin, 18-months (Image courtesy of family)

Jabin, 18-months (Image courtesy of family)

The grandmother, Cherri Roberts, 59,   was rushed to the hospital after being pulled from the fire Sunday, but later died.