ORLANDO, Fla. – The 31 people who lost virtually everything but the clothes on their backs when their apartments burned Saturday morning came back to the Isles at East Millenia complex on Monday.
They are still struggling.
The Red Cross helped several families with immediate needs — food, clothing and temporary shelter, according to Red Cross spokesman Duhane Lindo — but it’s not enough.
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“These folks went through a lot of trauma,” Lindo said. “The Red Cross, our disaster action team was able to come out, they worked 24/7 helping folks and providing emergency assistance to those folks who needed it right there and right then.”
The most painful loss for Gordon Brown is his daughter’s freedom. Now, he must carry his disabled 7-year-old everywhere.
“Feeling kind of devastated, hurt, lost all our belongings, I have a little girl, she can’t walk,” Gordon said. “We lost her motorized wheelchair.”
Brown said the motorized wheelchair cost him $15,000. It is insured but he must now go to his insurance company to make a claim.
Sondra Newsome came back to the complex with her son and grandchildren looking for help.
“At 4 a.m. we were awakened by a knock on the door, the fire alarm didn’t go off, the (deputy) was banging on the door and for everybody to get up immediately because there was a fire in the building,” Newsome said. “So we left with just the clothes on our back.”
Donations can be dropped off at the leasing office of Isles at East Millenia on Lake Fountain Drive.
The Red Cross also has clothing drop-off bins at all of its Central Florida locations.
You can also click here to find out how to protect your home from fire.
Click here to learn how to become a Red Cross volunteer.