ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — More than 30 displaced residents were sent to a temporary shelter at the Berglund Center Wednesday morning after Tuesday nights fire at the Stratford Village Apartments.
The disaster team for the American Red Cross were able to help them in getting a hotel and recovery credit cards as they figure out where they’ll go next. Many are still recovering from trying to escape the fire and some say they didn’t think they would survive.
Resident, Vivian Cable told WFXR, “It was devastating to see everybody out here last night and everybody that had to go to the hospital and everybody that didn’t make it.”
Cable says the scene at Stratford Village was chaotic. “It was heartbreaking to see all the people on their walkers and their canes trying to struggle to get out,” she added. She says plenty of the residents are disabled or elderly and had a hard time getting out.
Resident, Pamela Fleming says she woke up to use the restroom when fire crews knocked down her door. “A fireman broke down my door, broke it down in the middle , broke the lock, everything, grabbed me and said I couldn’t go to the bathroom there wasn’t time,” said Fleming. She says there wasn’t even time for her to put on shoes as she was escorted outside.
“I had to walk across a gravel road that was like glass…I was shivering, I was physically shaking,” said Fleming. Her dog Dazzle got away and Fleming thought she’d never see her again but they were reunited at the Berglund Center on Wednesday morning.
Residents are hoping to either get back home or quickly find a new one. Many who didn’t have a place to stay say they’re grateful to the Red Cross for working with the Berglund Center and local hotels to help them.
Anyone displaced and in need of assistance is asked to call the American Red Cross at 1-800-733-2767.