July 24, 2007
Fire ripped through not one but two homes Monday night. Flames that began at 606 Hinton Avenue spread to the adjacent house, leaving both homes fully engulfed.
On Tuesday, residents sifted through their remains and counted their blessings that no one was injured.
Stanley Wright lives in the front portion of 606 and says he was sleeping around 9 p.m. when he was jolted awake by the chaos.
"The lady who runs the apartment banged on the door. She was near hysteria," said Wright.
But while touring the charred remains of his bathroom and unusable kitchen, Wright considers himself lucky.
"I think that adversity brings out the best in the American public, and we received numerous offers of help from the church, the Red Cross, the neighbors. It was very heartwarming," said Wright.
In fact, so much help has poured out from neighbors, Red Cross volunteers say their efforts were minimal.
"We did address many of the emergency needs that they had, but because of the neighbors, the way that they are, the neighbors were just coming out, and they're like 'here's some clothes, here's some food'," said Rick Alatorre of Red Cross Emergency Relief.
As investigators put together the pieces of what started the fire, the families will start to put together the pieces of what's left, a road Alatorre says could be a long one.
"When you're dealing with a situation such as a house fire, that is just as traumatic to a family, just as emotional to a family, as the big events of a hurricane or a tornado or something of that nature," said Alatorre.
Between the Red Cross and neighbors, all those affected have been taken care of, given hotel rooms and debit cards.
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