Jacob Reynolds went to Wellston Ridge Apartments to speak with families who are left with nothing and are trying to pick up the pieces.
They say they're lucky and relieved to be alive, but they weren't able to save much from a fire that tore through a block of apartments leaving them with nothing but smoke, ash, and a sense of loss.
“Watch your step,” Miguel Jimenez told us as we walked through his destroyed apartment.
There wasn’t much left of the apartment. Jimenez has lived here since February with his wife and 14-year-old son, but says Monday night's fire was like something out of a nightmare.
“It was like a monster, it took everything, literally, it walked across the roof,” he said from his front yard.
After a morning of searching they couldn't save much, only a T.V., watches, a pair of shoes, and a box of documents from under the stairs.
It left Jimenez reflecting on what was lost.
“My son's room is completely gone, totally gone,” Jimenez said on the second floor of the apartment.
It was a feeling his neighbors shared.
Arianna Hinkle and Andrea Prater moved in on Saturday, three days later, their possessions gone in a flash.
“I don't think it's really sunk in yet. Yeah, not completely, the damage is there, but I just haven’t really realized how much I've actually lost yet. It only starts to feel real when I go to find some clothes and I don't have any. Like going to be like ‘Oh I'm going to pick out what I want to wear today.’ No, no you're not,” Hinkle and Prater said outside their apartment.
Prater says the fire started in their apartment while she was trying to get inside after coming home from work.
The Warner Robins Fire Department says they are still investigating the cause.
The Red Cross has put the families in hotels while the complex’s management is trying to find vacant apartments for them to live in at the same property and other ones they own in Central Georgia.
On Tuesday, the victims were left asking the same questions.
“Where to go from here? How to rebuild? Because, we have to start from scratch, just starting over completely,” Hinkle and Prater said.
The Red Cross says they are accepting donations of clothes and other necessities for the 21 victims of this fire.
You can drop those donations off at the Red Cross office in Macon located at 195 Holt Ave.
The apartment complex, Wellston Ridge, off Olympia Drive is also accepting donations that can be dropped off at the leasing office.
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