The Red Cross provides temporary housing for survivors of deadly fire at Northgate Apartment

The Red Cross provides temporary housing for Northgate Apartment deadly fire victims.
Published: Jul. 28, 2023 at 6:47 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Some Northgate Apartment fire victims are still dealing with the effects of being displaced by the fire.

They recently moved to the Bledsoe Miller Community Center where they are sleeping on cots, but this is only temporary and their next steps for housing remain a mystery.

The Red Cross paid for three-days at a local motel, and now they’re providing the community center as an extra resource.

One former tenant, Summer Williams, said she feels hopeless after she lost everything from the deadly Northgate Apartments fire nearly two weeks ago.

“Things are not ok. It’s been a mental breakdown just to try to stay strong because not only do I have me, I have my two dogs,” said Williams.

The Red Cross said it placed the fire victims temporarily at the Bledsoe Miller Community Center so the residents can have a place for support with recovery planning, community resources, meals, and especially, a safe place to sleep.

Williams says out of the 31 people who were displaced, there are at least 10 families staying there for now.

“I really appreciate the Red Cross. The fact that they’re volunteers, and they don’t even get paid, and they’re sticking out their necks for us, they’re spending time to make sure we’re ok. We’re so grateful for that,” said Williams.

While Williams said she’s happy the residents are getting help, it saddens her that the owners of the Northgate Apartments have not.

She said the owners towed the residents’ cars at the site without a seven-day notice, didn’t pay for three days at motel rooms and refuses to reimburse the rent tenants paid for July.

“I would like to see them show compassion, you know? Step up, speak up, answer a phone call at least. They need to be liable for some things. But they’re just being selfish, cruel, and downright ugly,” said Williams.

Williams said a motto that sticks with her is to always be kind.

“Just look out for people. Be the kind of person you would like to meet, how you would like to be treated. Because in a blink of an eye, it can all be gone,” said Williams.

KWTX reached out to the owners of the Northgate Apartments and haven’t heard back.

The Red Cross said the shelter will continue to operate as it works with community partners to ensure that all displaced residents have plans to transition to alternative housing.

Along with the Red Cross, the Salvation Army has stepped in to provide warm meals for the tenants.