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Good Samaritan loses everything in apartment fire, community collects donations

Dennis Ray Moore, Jr. of Columbia lost nearly everything in the Anita Court apartment fire. (Mark Slavit/KRCG 13)

Fire investigators on Tuesday released the cause of a fire leaving half of a Columbia apartment building in ashes and residents homeless.

Investigators said someone improperly discarded smoking materials on a front deck in the 200 block of Anita Court near Stephens College.

Dennis Ray Moore, Jr., featured in KRCG's award-winning story Good Samaritan in January 2017 was one of those residents who returned home and found ashes.

Moore shoveled snow off driveways and sidewalks for the disabled and elderly at no cost. A year and half later, Moore lost nearly everything in the Anita Court apartment fire.

“My cap and gown from school meant a lot to me because the doctors gave up on me," Moore said,.

"They said I wasn’t going to be able to go back in school and all of that. I am just truly grateful.”

When he was 10 years old, Moore and his family were in a head-on collision. His mom, step-dad and brother died in the accident. Moore was in a coma for 28 days. Doctors told Moore that he made a miraculous recovery. Moore said the fire was another obstacle he would overcome.

“I’m still grateful," Moore said.

"It’s real sad. I feel like crying right now. All that I can do is keep pushing.”

Moore was staying with his sister in Columbia until he got back on his feet. Moore had faith he would find a new home of his own and planned to spread his kindness again this winter with a new snow shovel.

You can give Moore your donations at any Columbia First State Community Bank location.

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