WHITEMARSH ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – Two families are without a home following a fire in their Whitemarsh Island neighborhood. One of those homes is where Nine Line Apparel got its start.
Now, the company is stepping in to help.
Crews were called to the scene of the fire on Mapmaker Lane around 3:30 p.m. Sunday. It didn’t take long for Matt Cubline to realize his neighbors might be in trouble.
“I mean I was in flip-flops, I wasn’t really prepared to do anything more than bang on someone’s door,” said Cubline. “I just knew they were an older couple I don’t really know them personally, but I’ve seen them because they’re my neighbors and just wanted them to get out of their house.”
Cubline, who works at Nine Line Apparel, says his neighbors are safe, but the same can’t be said for his employer’s home.
He was renting it out to a family of four at the time of the fire.
“The birthplace of Nine Line was on fire,” said Tyler Merritt, CEO of Nine Line Apparel. “I immediately called the tenants — they said they were at the beach they had no idea their house was on fire and that their entire family was with them, which was really the only concern we had.”
Merritt said he built his company from the ground up in the Whitemarsh Island home.
“I’ll be able to rebuild the building, but they’ve lost all of their pictures and all of their belongings,” he said. “I have incredible memories there, but we can rebuild.”
Merritt and his Nine Line employees are now collecting donations to help the family replace what they’ve lost — from their clothing to their car.
“These are some individuals who are, right now, waking up to the fact that everything they had in their home, all of their belongings, are gone,” said Merritt. “This a devastating time, so we are collecting gift cards and cash here at Nine Line.”
Cubline said this is kind of support is exactly what the company stands for.
“It is such a reoccurring thing here that whenever tragedy strikes, Nine Line steps in,” he said. “It’s just really par for the course, really, for this company, and I am just proud to be a part of it.”
If you’d like to help the family you can drop off gift cards or cash donations at Nine Line Apparel on Fort Argyle Road in Savannah. Neighbors are also collecting clothes and other household items.
The cause of the fire is not known at this time.