Kindness, support of community amazes fire family |

Kindness, support of community amazes fire family

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Mario Morgan and his children Mario, 3, and Mariana, 2, play at the family's new home Friday morning.

Clothing, furniture, dishes, cash donations. Mario Morgan, was grateful for it all. But the thing he found most amazing about the ups and downs of April was that the ups came from strangers.

“I don’t know what these people even look like,” the 26-year-old father said Friday sitting on a donated couch inside a new apartment he shares with his girlfriend, sister, son and niece.

“We didn’t even know people, and they gave us all this stuff. I have family and friends – who I thought were good friends – and none of them even called me. But strangers helped, that is amazing.”

On April 3, Morgan’s rental home on Adams Street, burned down. The flames devoured his possessions, leaving him and his family with only the clothes on their backs.

Miriam and son Mario Jr., who were home at the time and narrowly escaped the fire, were stunned at the loss. Mario Sr. was at his job in Fallon when he got word of the disaster. He said the normally hour-long commute home took half the time.

But he was rushing home to nothing. Miriam’s car was lost. The contents of their home were gone and his new pickup, which he saved for a for a “long, long” time, was damaged.

“The next day after the accident, we were worried. What were we going to do,” he said.

But two days later, Miriam called him. She said they’d gotten donations.

“I asked, ‘From who,’ and she said, ‘I don’t know.’ I said, ‘You don’t know?”

Nevada Appeal readers came in droves. For more than two weeks, an office building was filled day after day with donations to help the family get back on their feet.

Morgan’s boss and landlord, Ed Weininger, gave them another apartment to live in. Because Morgan had only liability insurance on the truck – a mistake when signing up for the insurance – damage to the vehicle’s front would come out of his pocket. Then Affordable Auto Painting on Edmonds Drive offered to do the work for free in exchange for Morgan’s construction skills.

“You never know how to handle this kind of stuff when it happens to you. You think it will never happen,” he said. “But we are good now, we don’t need anything. I just want to say thank you.”

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.