Donations pour in for families affected by recent apartment fire

- Donations continued to pour in for the families displaced by the Avondale Forest apartment complex fire two weeks ago.

"I didn't have anything but the shirt on my back," Saloie Cofer said. "It was so nice to see there are still good people in this world."

Saloie Cofer is one of the many who were displaced by the recent blaze. Monday Cofer and her former neighbors walked into Avondale Estates First Baptist Church to see an entire auditorium filled with donations.

RELATED: Massive fire rips through DeKalb County apartment complex

"People didn't have to do this and yet they still did and I can't help but think that they did this on the Martin Luther King holiday," Cofer said.

Patti Ghezzi, an Avondale Estates resident, helped kick-start the donation drive after she says she saw the dramatic rescue video from a Dekalb County firefighter's helmet camera of a father throwing his three-year-old girl into the arms of a firefighter to save her from the burning apartment.

VIDEO: Dad saves daughter by tossing her during massive fire

"Sadly there are apartment fires all the time, but this one touched so many because of that video of the father, his baby and the heroism the firefighters showed," Patti Ghezzi said.

Over the weekend, Lance Ragland, the father captured in the firefighter camera video made his way into Turner Chapel A.M.E Church, the drop off location for people in the community to bring donations specifically for Ragland and his family.

"I don't consider what I did to be above and beyond," Ragland said. "I had to do it, but to see all the love is amazing."

Ragland and his three-year-old daughter Destiny were the last two left in their burning apartment when Ragland says he had to make a quick decision to save his daughter's life. As the fire burned his back, Ragland threw his daughter off the third story balcony and miraculously into the arms of a DeKalb County firefighter.

RELATED: Firefighter speaks about catching baby in blaze

"My wife and seven other kids went down the ladder one by one then fell off and into the arms of other firefighters," Ragland said. "But by the time it was Destiny's turn, we were out of time. So I did what I had to do."

Ragland and his entire family survived the fire, but lost everything but the clothes on their backs.

"We started a Go Fund Me page that now has nearly $10,000, but we kept getting calls and messages about where people could drop off clothes, so I asked my pastor and we keep filling up rooms with all of the donations," Rashunda Moye, a cousin said. "Clothes, car seats, mattresses you name it. People just keep coming and it's nice considering the time we are living in to see there are still kind people in this world."

As Ragland recovers from surgery to treat his second-degree burns, he told FOX 5 he can't help but feel grateful for all of the love and support from complete strangers. The Ragland's said they plan on only taking what they need from all the donations and giving the rest to other families displaced by the fire.

"Thank you for every ounce of love, all of the donations, for every prayer lifted," Ragland said. "We appreciate it, but let's remember to be like this every day, not just to my family because we went through something like this, but all the time. It's how we are supposed to be."

Families who weren't able to attend on Monday or any other families displaced by a fire recently, can Avondale Estates City Hall for more information on how you can get some of the donations.

RELATED: Father suffers second-degree burns in fire, family struggles to recover

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