CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Khadija Morrison sat on a bed in an empty hotel room Monday afternoon. The only feelings she's experiencing now are shock and disbelief.
She wasn't home early Sunday morning when a fire started inside her apartment in the 4100 block of Rose Thorn Place. But her sister, Mechelle, was. Along with Mechelle was her 6-year-old son, Tremayne Smith, and their cousin, 9-year-old, Michael Johnson.
Michael died at the hospital Monday. Mechelle died several hours later.
"I get there and so many paramedics, so many fire trucks. I get there and see my sister lying on the ground, my nephew," Khadija said.
Khadija says Michael had a bright smile, despite the circumstances he'd been dealt in life.
"He was always at our house. He was happy. It was all about making him happy because he's been through so much in his life," she said.
Investigators determined the fire was accidental and started from food left cooking on the stove.
More than 36 firefighters were sent to put out the flames and were able to control the fire in 20 minutes, officials say.
But nothing was left. Everything Khadija and her sister had worked hard for was gone in a few minutes.
They had just moved into the apartment in October. Khadija had been homeless and the new apartment felt like a fresh start. Local non-profits had pitched in to furnish it.
Khadija had recently gotten her certification as a Mink Lash Extension technician but all of her equipment was destroyed. Along with the children's toys and clothing.
If you're interested in helping the family get back on their feet, they're looking for monetary donations, toys, and clothing girls size 4, shoe size 9/10, boy size 8 clothes, shoe size 13 and womens size small/4. You can mail monetary or smaller donations to the following address.
Should you want to donate larger items such as furniture, bikes and household appliances, please text Meredith Dolhare at 704-807-1777. We have secured storage thanks to the Benson Family at: