Silver Spring fire: Donations pour in for kids affected by blaze

SILVER SPRING, Md. (WJLA) - It's been three days since a fire tore through a Silver Spring apartment building, damaging 27 units and displacing 101 residents with only the shirt on their backs. The harsh reality has been the hardest on the 28 children in the building, the vast majority in elementary school.

But now there is an outpouring of support for those young fire victims.{ }

It's hard to forget the pride you had as a kid - bringing a new bookbag full of supplies to class. For 28 kids, though, that pride is gone, along with their homes and every possession inside.{ }

Many of the children attend nearby Broad Acres Elementary. Now donations of clothing, toys and books have poured into its sister school, Bethesda's Burning Tree Elementary, for the kids affected by Tuesday's blaze.{ }

"They had the clothes on their backs," Dr. Peter Bray, principal at Broad Acres Elementary.{ }"They smelled of smoke. Several of them didn’t even have shoes. They had slippers on.”

The fire at the Forest Park Apartments, which was caused by a faulty electrical socket, sent 10 residents to the hospital with minor injuries.

Kevin O'Malley, the president of CIH Properties, Inc., which owns the Silver Spring complex, says eight units are{ }a complete loss and the rest are heavily damaged.

O'Malley says{ }the building will be gutted before nearly $2 million in structural repairs are made.

Nearby complexes are working to accept displaced residents.{ }Of the 27 tenants, only three had renter's insurance.