NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The New Orleans Fire Department is investigating a fire in Mid-City that left more than 22 people without a home Sunday.
Fire investigators say the fire started around 6:00 a.m. in the 600 block of South Solomon Street. The shed behind one of the properties reportedly caught fire, and the flames eventually spread to a car in the driveway and then to a double shotgun home on Ulloa Street.
Family members say 93-year-old Idell Hamilton and her 72-year-old son lived inside one of the units on South Solomon Street, which was among the homes that received extensive damage.
“That’s not a good feeling to see everything you’ve worked hard for just go up in flames,” Yolanda Coffil, who lived on Ulloa Street, said.
Temperatures topped out in the low 90s Sunday afternoon as dozens of people sat outside alongside their belongings just hours after the fire.
“We see the fire burn. Right now, we’re on the street,” one displaced tenant said. “We don’t have anywhere to live or stay. We need some help.”
The two families living inside the Ulloa Street property were in disbelief a shed fire spread so fast, evacuating them from their homes.
“They had a lady pass in the car, and she just rang the doorbell and said, ‘The shed over there is on fire,’ and by the time the firemen got here, it was just in flames,” Desiree Andrews, who lived on Ulloa Street, said.
The Ulloa Street occupants were able to escape without injuries, but firefighters had to rescue two dogs and treat them with oxygen.
Fortunately, Coffil and Andrews were receiving some help from relatives and friends, salvaging what they could.
“I hope I’ll be able to get my home fixed again because I wasn’t really expecting trying to move today,” Andrews said. “It’s just something that just happened. I know they have freak accidents, but I think this one here could have been avoided.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. The Red Cross distributed gift cards.