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Community Hosts Dinners for Johnson City Fire Victims

By Emily Girsch.
It was a night the residents of Floral Avenue in Johnson City will never forget.

Two children died in a fire that was intentionally set to hurt one of the women staying in the home.

Now the neighbors are working to provide relief to those affected by hosting dinners.

"A lot of citizens were concerned and wanted to help the families out so we thought we'd quickly have some community suppers to support the victims," said Carol Cass, one of the organizers for the dinners.

Every night this week, Sarah Jane Johnson Memorial Church in Johnson City is hosting a dinner to raise funds for the victims.

The mother of the small boys, Erica Kurtz, and her friend, Jessica Baxter, suffered major burns over 70 percent of their bodies.

"You can't replace babies. You just can't," said Baxter's mother Patricia, at the vigil for Kurtz's children who died in the fire.

Kurtz is still in critical condition.

Community members are rallying together to show support, raise money, and collect items for Kurtz while she attempts to rebuild her life.

"There was a lot of grief and sorrow in this tragedy that happened but we know that the families, all of the families in the building need funding to get back on their feet," said Cass.

The dinners are scheduled for the rest of the week. For more information, visit the church website at sjjmumc.com.