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Cordele apartments burn down

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January 30, 2004

Cordele-- Five people are homeless after a fire at an apartment complex.

The fire broke out just before 7 a.m. Friday morning in an old store that had been converted into apartments.

It's hard for Edward Harper to look at this burned-down building that was once his home, "It's hard to keep starting over now. You can't keep starting over everyday now."

As he wipes away tears, Harper is invited to go inside his tiny one room apartment to see if his belongings can be salvaged, "I'm scared because what I worked for all my life is in my room."

But, Fire Chief Eugene Stephens says it is unlikely anything will be saved, "It was fully involved when we got here and got worse. This is an old store, it was built before World War Two."

The roof of the old store, now a home for five tenants, caved in and everything inside was destroyed. The cause of the fire is unknown.

Edward Harper says he was at work this morning when he found out about the fire. He doesn't know what sparked the flames, "But I know I had to do with what I lost. I lost everything."

A total loss for this man, who says he now has to start all over again. No one was injured in the fire. The state fire marshal's office is also investigating.

Posted at 4:30 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com