Charles Walters, 61, lives on the third floor. He is a cook, and he didn’t find out about the fire until he tried to come home from work, and police told him he would have to find some place else to go. He lived in the building four years ago, when a fire on the fourth floor killed one resident. Walters was angry that he couldn’t get into his home, and he said this time, he’s ready to move.
Don Housewright, 86, has lived on the sixth floor with his wife, Gladys, for over three years. He returned from a visit with his brother Wednesday, and couldn’t get into the building, so he sat outside in his idling minivan. “I can’t get in to check on my wife,” he said.
Rick Henrick was trying to get in for his 75-year-old mother’s medication and walker. Neighbors helped her walk down from the sixth floor when the fire alarms went off.
More after the jump.
The smoke and fire were isolated to the top of the building, where the water-cooling mechanism is, and most of the smoke and water damage were to the two top floors. But the building is without air conditioning, and police weren’t letting residents in until they were sure of its safety.
Management company Big Assets LLC has its office on the building’s 11th floor. No one answered the phone Wednesday.
DART ferried residents to a relief station that the Red Cross Dallas Area Chapter set up at the Kiest Park Recreation Center. About 100 residents have come through the center, chapter spokeswoman Anita Foster said. The Red Cross is prepared to shelter people overnight, but Foster said she doesn’t know if that will be necessary.
Once Dallas Fire and Rescue gives the OK, the Red Cross will go in and assess the damage to determine what residents need.
The photo is courtesy of Balk Talk reader Barry Kooda.
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Oak Cliff.