Dozens Of Families Remain Homeless After Tulsa Apartment Fire

Tuesday, November 1st 2011, 10:06 pm
By: News On 6

Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Dozens of families are homeless after a fire destroyed a south Tulsa apartment building Tuesday afternoon.

The Red Cross has helped 46 people so far and opened a shelter for the families with no place to go.

The fire took out 24 units at the Windsail apartment complex at 71st and Mingo. 23 of the units were occupied. In all, the Red Cross estimates about 100 people, including dozens of children, will now have to find new homes.

Silvia Lopez says when this fire started she was fast asleep.

"I was sleeping because I work night shifts. And I just hear a lot of people screaming and knocking on the doors real bad. And I open the door and people were like there's a fire," Lopez said.

Lopez says she got her three-month old baby and her three-year-old child out first, then she went back for her purse and some milk, and the fire was practically at her doorstep.

"Yeah, it was in front of the door. The next apartment it was right there," Lopez said.

The Red Cross says there are dozens of families just like the Lopez's, who are trying to figure out their next move.

"The Red Cross is here to take them by the hand and guide them through that process. At this point, we are able to assist people financially with replacing some clothing and making sure they have something to eat," Donita Quesnel, Tulsa Red Cross Spokesperson, said.

Crews say high winds were their enemy in the fire fight, but they were finally able to get the blaze under control. Some folks were able to walk away with a few items. But not Lopez.

"It's all destroyed. No blankets, nothing for my kids so I need something for my babies," Lopez said.

She says she feels lucky. She did have renter's insurance, and she was able to save her most valuable possessions.

"I'm glad that I be able to get my kids out of the apartment before everything really happened. Things can be replaced but not lives," Lopez said.

A firefighter did have part of ceiling collapse on top of him, but he's expected to be okay. There's still no word on the cause of this fire.

11/01/2011 Related Story: Tulsa Apartment Fire Destroys Building, Displaces More Than 100 Residents