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'It Felt Like A Nightmare': Fairmount Community Rallying Together To Help Survivors Of Fire That Killed 12

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Fairmount fire that killed 12 people has left the community shaken. Neighbors and those who knew the victims are working to help the survivors.

A great basketball player and an ambitious, helpful young man. That's how two of the young victims are being remembered as the community works to help survivors.

"Quintien was the mayor. He was the future mayor of Philadelphia," Bache-Martin coach Andre Wright said.

A future politician with an infectious personality and his younger protective sister.

"To be in her inner circle means that she protected you, she respected you, she cared about you. She always was protective of the people that she let in," Wright said.

That's how Wright describes siblings and former students Destiny McDonald and Quintien Tate-McDonald.

"The school environment is not going to be the same without those children there," Wright said.

The two were among 12 killed in a row home fire Wednesday morning in Philly's Fairmount neighborhood. Their mother, aunts and cousins also died in the fire.

"It felt like a nightmare, felt like it was surreal. I didn't believe it then my phone started ringing," Wright said.

News of the tragedy prompted not only Bache-Martin but other organizations to step up with open arms and helping hands.

"Everybody here was just heartbroken the minute we heard it just like so many people across Philadelphia, the state and the country. I mean, nothing could be worse in anybody's life," said Donna Cooper with Children's First, a child advocacy organization in Pennsylvania.

The group says what started as a fund between family and friends turned into a nationwide effort with more than 1,100 people raising over $50,000.

"It's a pretty tough time right now in America -- COVID, the insurrection -- yet all of this goodness, it's totally overwhelming," Cooper said.

The fundraiser is just one of several circulating to help survivors.

The children's former coach is hoping that as people give, they keep these faces in mind.

"I feel like the kids deserve to be seen in a positive light," Wright said.

Cooper says she is expected to meet with a representative of the family Saturday. Click here if you would like to help the victims.

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