Community working to help homeless after apartment fire
By BY CATY HIRST - CHIRST@VICAD.COM
Jan. 22, 2013 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated Jan. 22, 2013 at 7:23 p.m.
HOW TO HELP
• Call Sage Creek Apartments at (361) 573-1666 or Alexandra Leigh at 361-827-0727.
• Drop off items, including furniture, linens, clothes and gift cards, at Sage Creek Apartments at 607 Fillmore Ave.
After a fire ripped through Sage Creek Apartments early Monday morning, leaving about 15 people homeless, neighbors and area nonprofits are teaming up to provide assistance.
Alexandra Leigh, a resident whose apartment was not damaged, said she was driven to help her neighbors when they were evacuated together.
"After being woken up at 4 a.m. and seeing all of these people's faces - with no shoes, in their pajamas, carrying their pets in their arms - it just really hit my heart ... it is just crazy to me. I have never seen anything like that before," Leigh said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, said Victoria Fire Marshal Tom Legler.
Leigh said she couldn't imagine everything she owned being destroyed in minutes, so she is urging area businesses and individuals to donate furniture, clothing, food and gift cards.
Lisa Escamilla, manager at the apartment complex, said they are working with Mid-Coast Family Services to pay for hotel rooms for about 15 people for a total of three days.
She hopes that between vacant units at the apartment complex and at sister properties, they should have everyone back in a home by Thursday.
Escamilla said they also already have crews working to repair the damaged apartments.
Linda May, emergency services director of the American Red Crossroads Chapter, said they provided emergency assistance to 11 residents.
The apartment office is accepting donations, Escamilla said, on behalf of the residents.