CARROLL COUNTY, Ohio — Approximately $8,000 worth of toys for Tuscarawas County children was destroyed in a building fire Monday night in Carroll County, Toys for Tots coordinator Robert Stratton confirmed to News 5.
A building in Carroll County that stored toy donations for the Toys for Tots program caught fire Monday night, Stratton said.
This 87-year-old Marine told News 5 he has helped organize toy drives for kids around the holidays for the past 40 years.
"Just sick really to think everything’s gone," Stratton said. "There’s nothing left of the toys."
Stratton said he and a car repairman were inside when the fire started near the roof and quickly spread. The toys were set to be distributed to 3,000 children in Tuscarawas County.
Stratton also used the building for his business and a car repair shop. However, he was quick to tell News that that the toys are what matter most.
"Everything else was replaceable," he said. "The toys are too, it will just take us a little bit to get up to speed. For a lot of the kids, that’s the only toys they get."
Sherrodsville Volunteer Fire Chief John Miley told News 5 wind played a factor in just how quickly the fire spread.
"By the time I got the fire truck just around the corner and back, it was a total loss," he said.
"Must have been a 40-50 mph winds right at the wrong time and they just fanned the flames," Stratton added.
Stratton said a trailer load of toys due for delivery Tuesday will be sent to the Calvary Methodist Church, where a makeshift operation is quickly being set up.
"We’re going to go ahead with Toys for Tots," Stratton said. "Last year, we did 3,000 kids and we’re going to do the same this year."
In addition to Sherrodsville Volunteer Fire, the chief told News 5 Fairfield, Delroy, Carrollton, Bowerston, Scio, Perrysville and New Philadelphia fire departments also provided support.
"As far as a cause, we don’t expect any foul play [and was] accidental and it will be listed as undetermined," Fire Chief Miley added.
Simpson Heating and Air will also be hosting a Toys for Tots collection drive at Tuscora Park in New Philadelphia Sunday, December 12 from 1 p.m. to at least 3 p.m., according to a Facebook post from the company. A spokesperson with Simpson Heating and Air said all donations, monetary or purchased toys, will be matched.
The public can send monetary donations to Toys for Tots: PO Box 113, Sherrodsville, Ohio 44675.
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