Families homeless after South Augusta apartment fire


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Several families are homeless after a devastating fire at Azalea Park Apartments. Augusta Fire and EMA responded to the call around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. When they arrived, flames were burning through the roof.

“I looked out the window and saw a building on fire,” Jimmie Ashford said. “I was concerned because I knew a lot of people were going to be displaced.”

According to Augusta Fire, 15 people were displaced. Everyone who was inside the building made it out safely. No injuries were reported. The property manager tells NewsChannel 6 Building M housed eight units.

“I’m just concerned for others because it’s cold, and you want the best for people.”

The Red Cross arrived on scene Wednesday night ready to assist the seven families affected, including several children — the youngest is a 3-month-old.

“It’s a matter of rebuilding their entire lives back together,” Susan Everitt, the executive director of the American Red Cross, said. “It really is utterly devastating.”

“It doesn’t make any sense that these kids have to suffer throughout the holiday,” Jessica Everette added. “They don’t have a house.”

Jessica Everette, who lives in the apartment complex, tells NewsChannel 6 she has had several issues with her apartment, including problems with mold and electricity. Just hours after the fire, she learned her smoke detector does not work.

“I happened to check my smoke detector this morning as advised by the fire department. My smoke detector doesn’t work.”

Everett says some families living at Azalea Park apartments receive Section 8 housing assistance. She hopes the city will step in and fix the issues they are facing in their apartments.

“If Augusta has money to fix the roads and to build a [new] James Brown Arena, restaurant or building, somebody can help us.”

Augusta Fire is still investigating how and where the fire started.

How to help affected families

Anyone interested in assisting the affected families can donate time, blood or money to The Red Cross.

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