Hollygrove fire leaves 30 people homeless

Thursday, an excavator knocked down what was left of a two-story, wood frame four-plex that burned the night before in Hollygrove.

NEW ORLEANS -- Thursday, an excavator knocked down what was left of a two-story, wood frame four-plex that burned the night before in Hollygrove.

The operator dug through the rubble, pulling out what he could, but there wasn't much left to salvage for the families that lived in the burned out building located in the 3500 block of Cambronne Street.

"Everything is gone in one minute," said Enrique Lopez, one of the building's residents. "I don't know what I need to do. I don't know what I can do. I lose everything, everything."

Lopez and his family of four are among the 30 people who lost their homes in the fire.

When firefighters arrived, they found heavy smoke and flames already shooting through the roof.

The fire spread quickly, forcing the fire department to strike a second alarm.

Lopez and his youngest son were inside the building when it caught fire. They could have died if not for a neighbor's courage.

"I was sleeping and I don't know what happened," Lopez said. "If Mario didn't come and put down my door in my apartment, maybe I'm being dead."

Mario Aberanga said there were a lot of flames and he knew his neighbors where inside so he broke down their door.

"Hey come here, come here, there's smoke," Aberanga said. "Let's go."

Neighbors said despite the size and intensity of the fire, no one was hurt.

"It went up real quick," said Adrian Glover who lives a few houses away from the burned building. "Everything was popping and everything. It went up real, real quick."

The Red Cross is assisting families displaced by the fire, but what will happen to these people in the long-term is still unclear.

"I don't have a place to live right now," Lopez said. "I don't know what I'm going to do. I don't know what I'm going to do."

According to the NOFD, there were no working smoke alarms in the building. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Firefighters say it appears the fire started on the second flood of the building.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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