Strangers help apartment fire victims: 'I would hope someone would help me'

WICHITA Kan. (KSNW) - Would you help a stranger in need? A Derby woman has made it her mission to help a family who lost nearly everything in an apartment fire.

"I think people want to help people. They just need the opportunity and all I'm doing is giving people the opportunity to do that," said Carol Maddox.

Maddox learned about a displaced family on Sunday after their unit at the Aspen Park Apartments went up in flames, along with 15 other units.

"I don't know the family involved, but I heard about it through church," she said.

Maddox then turned to social media and asked her Facebook friends if they would be willing to donate items to the family.

"My phone blew up. My Facebook blew up. The response was tremendous," Maddox said.

She said a number of her friends and a few strangers reached out willing to donate. She spent the majority of Monday picking up the donations which ranged from clothes, toiletries and appliances.

"I have been to Derby, Haysville, three places in Wichita, Sedgwick, I'm getting ready to go to Ark City," Maddox explained.

KSN went with Maddox as she collected donations from two locations.

"I couldn't even imagine what it would be like to be in their shoes, to lose everything," said LoRisa Fouch.

Fouch donated a TV, curtains, DVDs, artwork and a kitchen organizer. KSN asked her why she donated to a stranger.

"Because I would hope someone would help me if. I needed it," Fouch said.

Maddox has been through a similar situation before. Her apartment flooded several years ago. 

"If it hadn't been for my family and friends, I could have lost everything easily," she said.

Maddox said she planned to give the donations to the family affected by the fire on Monday evening. 

"It makes me feel like I am doing what God wants me to do," she said.

Wichita fire officials said the cause of the apartment fire was from a carelessly discarded cigarette on a balcony. 

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