CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Less than one week after a massive fire destroyed a dozen condominiums in Carolina Beach, several fundraisers are underway to help those injured and displaced.
Several people are still in the hospital, some after jumping from the second and third floors of the complex to save their lives.
“The girl who jumped out of the third story building, everybody knows her, she’s almost like a daughter,” said longtime resident Jeff Smith. “It’s just amazing how this community always just pulls together when something like this happens.”
Smith and his wife Lisa are among those in the community organizing fundraising efforts for the victims, with events at bars like The Lazy Pirate, The Dive, and others.
“We’ve got a whole group of people that have organized a whole bunch of GoFundMe pages and there’s a whole bunch of organizations here on the island, Pleasure Island Habitat, Pleasure Island Disaster Fund, and there’s a whole bunch of other ones,” Smith said.
On Thursday, Lake Park Steakhouse will donate 100 percent of sales to the Pleasure Island Disaster Relief Fund. Owner Ron Stevens says 27-year-old Callie Ryan, who jumped from her third story to escape the blaze and lost her dog in the fire, is a former employee of the restaurant.
“Whatever comes in the cash register tomorrow is what’s going out, we’re eating the cost of the food basically so that’s our additional donation as well,” Stevens said. “You can’t not do it, just from a heart standpoint. You can’t not help your friends.”
Seating for Thursday is by reservation only.
Local screen printer Don Filippone of Don the Mon’s Irie Items is also assisting in the effort.
“I ain’t got a lot of money, all my money’s going into the business so, I was like I could donate $20 but what difference is that going to make,” Filippone.
Instead of donating money, Filippone is using his skills to help. He’s printing t-shirts that say CB Strong, designed by notable local skater Chet Childress.
“I figured we’ll do a run of 100 and sell them for $25 a piece and that’s a lot better than me giving my little $20, hopefully help them out, you know?” Filippone said. “I can’t even imagine.”
Those t-shirts will be on sale at The Last Resort on Saturday until supplies run out. Filippone says he might make more depending on demand.