The Red Cross, Salvation Army and community members have come to the rescue of families left homeless by a fire that burned their duplex May 17.
But the families are still in need, and collections of household items and other supplies continue through Friday at North Elementary School, 2875 Holly Drive, during school hours.
"This was a nightmare," said Jay Pierce, a former resident of the duplex off Kavanagh Avenue near Holly Drive.
He received second-degree burns on his feet, arms, face, neck and ears in the blaze. "I was sleeping at the time and my daughter woke me up and said, 'Daddy, there's a fire.' "
The fire left nine adults, five children and a dog homeless. It started around 10:20 p.m. According to the Tracy Fire Department, the fire appears to have started on the southwest side of the building and spread to the next unit.
High winds, radiant heat and close proximity of the structures aided the quick-spreading fire. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
"We were able to help the families in that critical 72-hour period after the emergency," said Trista Cunningham, a Red Cross spokeswoman. "We helped with lodging needs for several days and money for food, clothes and shoes."
Along with the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army also has helped provide temporary lodging. But the families are in need of basic supplies such as clothes, dishes, hygiene supplies, toys and books for the children,