Residents forced to start over following massive apartment complex fire

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NEW ORLEANS – More than 70 people are homeless tonight after a fire tore through their New Orleans apartment complex.

The fire at Gentilly Ridge Apartments spread quickly and residents had little time to get out.

Michele Thomason said, “I heard some windows busting and when we came out into the courtyard, the smoke was thick, thick, thick black smoke and some white smoke. It was coming towards us.”

The fire spread to two sides of the complex; part of the roof collapsed and other units have lots of smoke and water damage.

Thomas is one of the 70 residents who lost nearly everything. In the rush to get out, she was able to save some school supplies for her kids.

“I got their computers so they can do their virtual. Hopefully the computers are okay, but their computers and our tv smell like smoke,” Thomason said. “It’s smoked out and it’s so bad that when you bring it to a place that does not smell like it, it makes the whole place smell like smoke.”

The Red Cross is stepping up and provided two nights for the displaced families at a nearby hotel. They’re also helping with clothing and food. The big worry for the residents is what to do when their stay is up.

“I have a little bit of money to keep it going for a few days, but I don’t know how that’s going to hold up. Honestly, we need some help as far as somewhere to live,” said Domonique Meyers.

He has a one-year-old daughter, but several other familiy members also lived in his unit with their kids. Now, they have questions about what happened.

“I’m trying to keep their heads up and keep them with hope that we will be alright and will have a roof over our heads. I try to assure them that we’re going to be okay because they’re terrified right now,” Meyers said.

Meyers is hopeful the community will step up and he is also requesting prayers for those impacted by the fire.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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