Community, organizations begin to rally for victims of Monday’s apartment fire
As renters watched their homes go up in flames at The Landings Apartments Monday, volunteers, emergency management employees and the American Red Cross were on the scene aiding first responders and the fire victims with water.
While this was helpful, it did not, unfortunately, change the fact the fire had changed the lives of the 23 people living in the 12-unit apartment building located on Fairways Drive.
However, with the assistance of non-profit organizations in the community, there are efforts in place for them to find lodging and help as they start to rebuild their lives.
Warren County Emergency Management Director John Elfer said two full-time employees and a volunteer with the Red Cross were working with the apartment complex Monday afternoon to identify by name and apartment number those misplaced and checked that information with the lease agreements on file.
They were also making sure the fire victims displaced by Monday’s fire had someplace to stay.
“The American Red Cross is an organization that provides immediate assistance,” said Debra Davis, with the American Red Cross.
In addition to providing water and assisting with lodging, the Red Cross met with those who had lost their place to live and possessions to hand out comfort kits, which included personal hygiene products. Funds were also distributed to help with clothing and food.
Davis said the American Red Cross also works as an advocate to provide information those displaced will need in order to get assistance from other non-profit agencies.
For those who need more information about Red Cross assistance, Davis said, information was left with officials at The Landings Apartments or they can call the American Red Cross office, 601-636-9182, and ask for Tamica Smith, who is the communication director.
The United Way of West Central Mississippi is also assisting.
“The United Way will accept funds to distribute to the individuals who were affected,” United Way Executive Director Michele Connelly said. “This is a service available here at the United Way, and we will help those as funds are available.”
As of Tuesday, Maj. Steve Welch with the Salvation Army in Vicksburg said a plan has not been put in place to assist the fire victims, but food boxes with frozen, fresh and canned goods are available, as well as furniture and household items as resources allow.
“Sometimes we can also help with utility bills and rent, but that is limited,” Welch said.
For individuals or groups who are interested in helping the fire victims, Elfer encouraged people to make monetary donations or donate gift cards.
“That is really the best way to donate since we don’t have the recourses to manage clothing donations and food donations,” Elfer said.
Also Tuesday, a number of individuals and businesses had started collecting clothing for displaced victims.
It may be Thursday before Warren County authorities can begin searching what remains of the apartment building at The Landing... read more