EDGEWATER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — After losing everything in the fire at the Avalon apartments in Edgewater, Yankees radio play-by-play announcer John Sterling says he’s not looking for pity.

“People don’t want to know my little — and they are little — problems,” he told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams. “I can take care of myself. I have the wherewithal.”

Sterling realizes just how lucky he is.

“I could not see,” he said of the Jan. 21 fire. “The smoke was so dense and so thick, and I said to myself, ‘John, you’d better get the heck out of here.'”

He said it’s a miracle everyone escaped. He credits the firefighters.

“If you get out of a fire … you can go and replace the other things,” Sterling said. “So that’s why I have a good outlook on it.

“I only had the clothes on my back, and the first thing I bought was a toothpaste and toothbrush.”

He still wears his 2009 World Series ring. The others were lost.

“I lost the 12 local Emmys on a mantelpiece,” Sterling said. “Actually, I don’t really care. I’m not a possession-oriented person, so I don’t really care. Would I like to have all my clothes back? Yes. But I’ll get new clothes.”

Smoke continues to rise from an apartment complex in Edgewater, New Jersey on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, following a massive fire. (Credit: Tom Kaminski/WCBS880)

Smoke continues to rise from an apartment complex in Edgewater, New Jersey on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, following a massive fire. (Credit: Tom Kaminski/WCBS880)

Having made peace with his own situation, Sterling wants to aid his neighbors, roughly 500 others.

“You never think it’s going to happen to you, but think of your family — and I saw a lot of kids in that complex, an enormous complex,” he said. “Now you have nothing. Nothing. And you have to start from scratch.”

Sterling and his radio partner, Suzyn Waldman, will host a fundraiser with sports celebrities from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at D&D’s Restaurant & Pub in New City, New York. Admission is $50.

“Bucky Dent and Mickey Rivers and Willie Randolph and people like that,” Sterling said. “You’ll meet a lot of different people, more than I’ve mentioned. And Suzyn and I will do a Q&A.”

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