The Houston Fire Department responded to a fire on the 7900 block of Leonora Street near Glenview Drive.
The flames ripped through the roof of part of the Leonora apartment complex. Twenty units were damaged in the fire, leaving many families with nothing.
Derick Taylor said he lived in the apartment next to where the fire started. Taylor said her neighbor yelled at her on the street for help and told Taylor her apartment was on fire. Taylor immediately ran and began knocking on doors to alert and rescue her neighbors.
Taylor was taken to hospital for smoke inhalation. He told ABC13 on Friday that it was his birthday the night of the fire. Many people, including Taylor, slept in their cars and on the lawn because they had no place to stay.
People brought food and donations for families in need. The Red Cross has also responded by providing resources and assistance to families. However, many still have not arranged temporary accommodation on Friday night.
Liliana Perez walked through what was left of her sister’s apartment on the second floor. The roof and everything inside were destroyed.
Perez lives in a first-floor apartment with his parents and brother. Perez said their unit was also damaged, but not as badly as her sister’s. Together, the family lost everything.
“These are material things,” Perez said, “but it still hurts to see your stuff disappear and have to start at the bottom, but we thank all the people who are trying to offer us a way to stay because even our apartments don’t.I don’t know where to put us.They couldn’t find accommodation for us.
Dimitri Papadopoulos, the owner of Hangar Kitchen, said he saw the devastating damage and wanted to do something to help. It offers free meals to families affected by the weekend.
“I just wanted to do something for them, you know,” Papadopoulos said. “I think everyone should do their part, and I was like, you know, if we just give them a free meal or something, just hot food every time you just lost everything you know , so we really wanted to do our little bit to help the community out.”
Many children who live in the damaged apartments attend Cornelius Elementary School. The school posted on its Facebook page that there will be a collection on March 19 starting at 12 p.m. until 3 p.m.
For more on this story, follow Roxie Bustamante on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All rights reserved.