SHREVEPORT, La. -- People from 30 units destroyed by fire at the Fairfield Oaks Condominiums are dealing with the need to find a new place to live and replace just about everything that was inside.
"Find another place to live and start all over!" Barbara Wilson said with a chuckle.
She went back to the burned down building on Thursday, where she had lived for 15 years. She was hoping to go inside to see if there was anything she could salvage. But the Shreveport Fire Department was advising against it. They say the fire-ravaged building is unsafe.
Wilson says she's found a temporary new home.
"I'm staying with a sister who lives over south of LSUS. And I told her I'd rather be over here watching what was going on that sitting at her condo," she said.
Meantime, the American Red Cross is trying to help others displaced by the fire.
"We've been able to get in contact with 23 residents and start those recovery conversations around what their needs may be, what we're going to be able to help them with in the immediate time frame, and then what some of those roadblocks may be as look more into long term recovery, " said spokeswoman Stephanie Wagner, Red Cross:
Wagner said the needs of fire victims go well beyond housing and clothing.
"We're going to be determining do they need assistance with lodging? Are they going to need assistance with replacement of toiletries and some personal items? Will they need assistance with things like prescription medication, replacement of glasses, or durable medical equipment?" Wagner said.
Wilson praised said the efforts of a firefighter during the blaze for rescuing her important handbag.
"A nice fireman was able to go in yesterday and get my purse out for me. I had all my papers in it, and all those kinds of things, my billfold, all my credit cards, and debit card. And he ran in actually," she said.
The condos were all individually owned. So you have lots of different insurance companies involved. The homeowners association is also trying to help victims. About 90 units in other buildings of the complex weren't touched.
Shreveport Fire Department Assistant to the Chief Clarence Reese says an investigator has also been contacting occupants in hopes of determining the cause. It's believed the fire began on the third floor, or the attic, toward the middle of the building. The whole third floor was destroyed by fire. Smoke and water damage ruined the second and first floors.