Community comes together to collect donations for families impacted by apartment complex fire

Published 10:49 am Tuesday, December 21, 2021

NILES — Four Niles families lost everything in an apartment complex fire Sunday. Now, community members are banding together to help get those families back on their feet just in time for Christmas.

Sunday, a fire overtook an apartment complex in the 400 block of Fort Street in Niles. While all occupants made it out of the home safely, the building has been deemed a total loss, leaving several pets dead and the families who lived there without their homes or belongings.

“The occupants lost pretty much everything they had,” said City of Niles Fire Captain Don Wise. “With it being this close to Christmas, it’s tough enough when you lose everything, and now they have to find new housing, which can be hard in this market right now.”

When the Niles community learned of the tragedy, it did not take long for area residents to band together to begin collecting donations for the families.

Wednesday, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1340 Sycamore St., Niles will host a donation drive for families impacted by the fire. The drive will take place from 7 to 9 p.m.

Also collecting donations during their open hours are local businesses CJ’s Pizza and Subs, 114 N. Third St., The Nuggett, 202 E. Main St., Niles, Scrapper’s Rescue Corp., 211 E. Main St., and Wegner’s Lakeside Bar and Grill, 2628 Lake Shore Dr., Niles.

Needed items include:

Men’s Clothing

  • Size 14/16 pants
  • Size 30/32 pants
  • Size medium sweatpants
  • Size small shirts
  • Size medium shirts
  • Size 11 shoes
  • Size 9 shoes
  • Size 9-and-a-half shoes
  • Size 8 shoes


Women’s Clothing

  • Size XL shirts
  • Size XXL shirts
  • Size 2X/3X clothing
  • Size medium shirts
  • Size XL or 10/20 pants
  • Size XL leggings
  • Size 3 pants
  • Size 6 shoes
  • Size 7 shoes
  • Size 9-and-a-half shoes
  • Size 10 shoes


Children’s Clothing

  • Boy’s youth XL shirts
  • Boy’s youth size 14 pants


Pet Items

  • Kibbles and bits dog food



  • Toothbrushes
  • Hairbrushes
  • Soap
  • Laundry soap
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Children’s toys and entertainment
  • Feminine hyenine products
  • Deodorant
  • Shaving cream
  • Ibuprofen
  • Tylenol
  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Towels
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Coats
  • Hats
  • Gloves


In addition to other items, families also lost Christmas gifts in the fire. Donation drive organizers said families would appreciate gift cards, Sonic the Hedgehog items, LOL Dollz, anime items, video games, gaming systems and Bath and Body Works products. Those interested can also contribute monetary donations to the families.