LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – The Red Cross and the company that owns the Twin Oaks Apartments worked to find dozens of people a warm place to stay and other necessities after fire ripped through their apartment Thursday.
Some of the victims escaped with just the clothes on their backs. The Red Cross says the fire displaced 55 people from roughly 33 apartments in the building that caught on fire. Some of the residents were allowed back inside to gather whatever they could salvage, but all are still trying to pick up the pieces.
Angela Sanders sensed something was wrong Thursday afternoon. She was doing her hair in her first floor apartment and smelled something.
"I heard fire trucks and that is when I saw smoke and the fireman was screaming for us to evacuate," described Sanders. She grabbed her daughter and nephew and ran outside.
"In my experience here it is the largest fire I have responded to as a Red Cross volunteer," explained Bill Curnow. He says Sanders and her family are just a few of the 55 people they are helping.
Nearly all of the units in the building that burned were occupied by either families, retirees or students. The Red Cross and Twin Oaks Apartment complex met with residents Thursday evening to find them a warm place to stay either at a hotel or in vacant apartments the complex owns.
"Psychologically they are going home tonight. They won't be sheltered and they won't have to move around," explained Curnow. Most of the people that were displaced will move into other apartments.
Shortly after the fire started, the Saint John Neumann Catholic Church opened its gym doors for people to gather and get information as it became available.
The Salvation Army handed out stuffed animals to the youngest victims and fed first responders. Dominoes employees who deliver in the area saw the smoke and brought pizza.
"Everyone is reaching out," said Sanders. While firefighters worked to put out this destructive blaze, Sanders and her neighbors shook their heads in dismay at what little was left.
The Red Cross is treating this fire as a full scale disaster. It will cost them thousands of dollars to take care of the victim's immediate needs.
If you would like to help you can call the local chapter of the Red Cross at 806-765-8534. They ask if you want to donate clothes or other items that you drop those off at the Salvation Army.
If you would like to read more about the story and the investigation of the fire: clickhere
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