Residents who were left homeless after an apartment fire in Wichita Falls are getting help thanks to the Red Cross.
About 50 percent of the building was damaged and it is expected to be a substantial loss of about two or three apartments and possible smoke damage in others.
Wichita Falls crews responded to a three-alarm fire at the Woodlands apartment off Midwestern Parkway around 4:45 on November 20. Audrey Beach says she had just got off work when she started to smell smoke.
“About five minutes later after I got in my apartment I heard all of the sirens from over here and that’s when I came out of the building and the whole building was smokey and I saw a fire at the back part of it,” said Beach.
Fire Chief Jon Reese says once they arrived they started working to stop the forward progress.
“By cutting the holes and pulling ceilings and being able to get into these other apartments and stop the progress from making it all the way down. Once it gets in the attic like this, it’s really really hard to access,” said Reese.
Red Cross was also there to assist with any needs the residents may have.
“What we do is we talk to the people who are affected. We give them financial assistance. If they don’t have a place to stay so they can find a place to stay and maybe get some clothes. It also depends on what they’ve lost,” said disaster program manager Linda Stevenson.
The property management relocated all impacted residents into vacant units, so now 14 people will spend Thanksgiving under a new roof, some without the necessary belongings that make a house a home.
Fire, smoke, and water destroyed nine units, eight of which were occupied. Now it is unsure how the fire started but thankfully Chief Reese did say that nobody was injured.