FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- St. Lucie County firefighters responded to two large residential fires in less than 24 hours, leaving 18 people in total without a home.
Wednesday night, an apartment fire on Southland Drive left 10 people homeless, including 4 children.
Thursday afternoon, a fire in a duplex on 20th Street left a mother and 7 children without a house.
Jenea Rolle says she was sitting in the living room in her 20th Street home when she saw smoke coming from a bedroom where two of her children were sleeping.
“My daughter, she smelled fire… I had to run in there and drag them out,” she said.
Rolle said she tried grabbing pots of water in the kitchen to douse the fire, but it was unsuccessful. She and her children ran out of the home, now covered in soot.
“All my children’s stuff is gone,” Rolle said.
Hours after the fire, she sat outside staring at the damage. “It’s sad,” she said.
She spent some of the afternoon trying to salvage anything not too badly damaged. She also tried to recover birth certificates or any of her children’s clothes or toys.
The Red Cross has been assisting all five families impacted in the recent fires.