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Community working to help homeless after apartment fire

Jan. 22, 2013 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated Jan. 22, 2013 at 7:23 p.m.

Joe Garcia checks for leeks in the pipes as the water is shut off to damaged buildings at Sage Creek Apartments. Garcia is a maintenance worker at Windsor Park Apartments and came over to assist the staff at the jointly owned Sage Creek.

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.



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