Drive to be held to replace toys lost in fire that were meant fo - KMOV.com

Drive to be held to replace toys lost in fire that were meant for Shriners kids

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(Credit: KMOV) (Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Hundreds of toys that were meant for patients at Shriners Hospital for Children were lost in a warehouse fire in south St. Louis Wednesday.

The Shriners said the toys were meant for children who were invited to a Christmas party, which is being held on December 10. Around 1,500 children received invitations, the organization said.

"It's just devastating," said John Cordell, who helps organize the event. 

Cordell kept the toys in the warehouse he also uses for his own business items. 

However, instead of focusing on what he's lost, he's determined to get new toys for the kids. 

"We're going to have the biggest party ever," he said. "No doubt about it." 

The Moolah Shrine Center and the Shriners Hospital will be holding a toy drive Saturday, Nov. 18 from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. to collect toys. The Shriners are asking members of the public to donate new, unwrapped toys at their shrine location at 12545 Fee Fee Road in West County.

The Shriners said 30 pallets of blankets meant for children who are patients at the hospital were also destroyed.

The fire broke out at the Park Warehouse Service Building Wednesday morning and continued to burn into the night and Thursday morning. Firefighters had said there may be hazardous materials in the building.

St. Louis firefighters who worked night and day to fight the fire are also now stepping up to help replace the lost toys. 

Firefighters will be collecting new toys aimed at ages 13-18 at all of the city's fire stations. 

Others, like Holly Dawson, who is an assistant manager at PetSmart in Belleville, are also doing their part. 

She got permission to donate 200 stuffed animals they had collected during their own toy drive to give to Shriners. 

Now employees at other PetSmart locations around the area are working to do the same. 

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