Luncheon to Benefit Three Families Affected by Fire in Berlin - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Luncheon to Benefit Three Families Affected by Fire in Berlin

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 BERLIN, Md.- The struggle continues for three families affected by a house fire earlier this month in Berlin. A luncheon will be open to the public for people to make donations on Saturday.

The last few weeks have not been easy for Diekesha Johnson and her two young children. The family is still displaced after a grease fire broke out inside her home on April 3rd. The blaze destroyed everything they owned.

"I was at a loss for words," said Johnson, when she thought about how devastated she was the day flames took over her home. "I have nothing; we actually had nothing but the clothes on our back."

Johnson was cooking dinner in the kitchen when the fire happened. Her children were outside playing at the time.  She said uncontrollable  flames were shooting out at her.

"It's really undescribable," Johnson said.  "You see flames coming at you; you try to put it out, but you can't."

Johnson has been living in and out of hotels for the last few weeks. Her neighbors were forced to spend several weeks in a hotel as well.

Bryauna Menafed, her boyfriend and their two kids, were confined to the top floor of their two-level unit after they recently  moved back in. She said their home had a lot of smoke and water damage. The floors were recently repaired, but their furniture, washing machine and other home goods were ruined.

It was very difficult not knowing whether or not we would be able to come back," Menafed said. " It was just stressful."

Menafed said fans were kept on in her unit for the entire two weeks they were away. She said she is expecting a  hefty electric bill and does not know how she will pay for it.

It is the same case for neighbor Marie Briddell, who stayed with her daughter for two weeks. The fans were left on inside her unit as well. Briddell said smoke and water filled her home and destroyed most of her belongings.

Community Advocate, Lareka Marshall is the founder of the Soulful Gospel Project. Her mission is to help people in need. Marshall will host a catered luncheon from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday, May 2nd, at Berlin Intermediate School to collect donations for the families.

"I was homeless for five years ago, so my heart is for people in need," Marshall said. She said she hopes to see Johnson and her family live in a new home.

Monetary donations will be accepted, as well as furniture and home goods during the luncheon.                                                                                           

 If you would like to donate, you can call Marshall at (302) 233-6160 .




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