Families Displaced By Apartment Fire - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/19/07-Tyler

Families Displaced By Apartment Fire

Fifteen families are without a home Friday night, after a fire broke out at their apartment complex Thursday night. Residents from the Liberty Arms Apartment Complex in Tyler spent the night in a hotel room, thanks to the Red Cross.

Thursday night Tyler firefighters worked hard to contain the rapidly spreading apartment fire, but Friday, the damage that remained left 15 families homeless.

"There were able to contain the fire to mostly up in the attic space, a couple of apartments were damaged inside, but there are 15 families that were displaced because of electricity being out to the whole building," says Captain Jeff Akin with the Tyler Fire Department.

Three apartments were destroyed by smoke and water damage, including Catrina Johnson's.

"I know I probably have a lot of water damage," she says.

She was first to see the fire--a fire that now has her on a list to get a new apartment.

"You have three kids not knowing like where your going to lay your head, where your kids are going to be," Catrina explains.

But thanks to the Red Cross, Catrina and a dozen others do have a place to go. They're getting food and shelter while they wait for the apartment building's electricity to come back on.

"They've been helping us out a lot like with food, and asked us if he need diapers, they're helping us out a lot," Catrina says.

Many of the residents say it's just the helping hand they needed, especially after going through such a traumatic experience.

"Even though I can't go to the apartment, thank God I wasn't there, everybody got out safely," says displaced resident Peggy Thompson.

The Red Cross says it will be putting the families up in a hotel again Friday night. They are expected to be back into their apartments by Sunday.

Tracy Watler, Reporting tracy@kltv.com

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