East Albany apartment fire leaves families homeless - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

East Albany apartment fire leaves families homeless

July 20, 2007

Albany--At least eight families in East Albany are homeless after a fire destroyed at least five of the units Thursday night.

The fire started at the Hidden Oaks apartment complex located at 333 South Mock Road around 9:30 PM.  Fire fighters say that Apartments #17 through #24 all received significant damage by the fire.

The fire started in apartment #21 which belonged to an Albany police officer who wasn't home when the fire started.

Dozens of people hopelessly watched on as flames destroyed a large portion of their apartment building.

"I thought my mom was burning candles and what not, but we happened to go outside and we seen smoke coming from the windows and up under the door from the other apartment," says Finetra Chambers.

Chambers lived next door to where the fire started in apartment #21.

"I think it started in his bedroom because that's where the fire started at," says Chambers.

Immediately after seeing smoke and fire, Chambers dialed 911. Six fire crews then rushed to the scene.

"Came out here in ten minutes," says Chambers.

"It'll take a little while to assess it and see what the needs are and we'll go from there," says Arther Shiply with the Amercan Red Cross.

Shiply arrived on the scene to begin assisting families now in need.

"We generally take care of their immediate needs if they had some clothes that burned up, some times they'll have lost their food," says Shiply.

Shiply estimates that about fifteen people will be in need of shelter.

"I talked to the fire chief and the landlord and they're getting names of all the people affected, find out how many people are affected how many, find out who needs some place to stay," says Shiply.

While many lost much in the fire, Chambers is glad everyone got out okay.

"They smelled smoke also, and they also came out," says Chambers.

The official cause of the fire still remains under investigation, and the Red Cross will continue helping the victims.

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