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Families displaced after fire in Riviera Beach

Posted at 5:44 PM, Oct 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-30 17:44:53-04

Donald Cooper and more than a dozen other people, some wrapped in Red Cross blankets, wonder where they will live after a fire damaged the apartment they called home.

"Everybody in the place was asleep and from there it was over," Cooper said.

Cooper saw the flames,  "It was on the porch. I had two places on the porch and then you go in the room, it was up."

Everybody escaped unharmed. Within the hour they ended up at a senior center, in a daze and confused, not knowing what to do.

As investigators piece together what started the fire, Riviera Beach Mayor Thomas Masters offered his support.  "Their main concern is that they have somewhere to stay tonight something to eat today. And that we not just going to talk the talk but we are going to walk the walk."

As the Fire Marshal investigates what caused the fire, Red Cross workers will do what they can.

Robbie Sofaly with the Red Cross said, "What we want to try and do is get the folks in the homes to work on their inner network,  friends, family maybe some other agencies they work with day to day to help identify some more intermediate solutions, long-term housing options."

The mayor said this is an emotional time for those who lost everything. "When you lose everything you've lost everything it's the emotional strain, everything is gone, you don't know where to turn to, you have nowhere to sleep nothing to eat."


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